The secret for a great cheeseboard is a variety of flavors, textures, forms and colors. Sharp, smoked, funky, sweet, soft, hard, fresh or aged cheese, they all deserve a little space on your board. And before you freak out thinking this will cost you a kidney, let me tell you that there are cheeseboards for every budget.
If you’re trying to save a few bucks, you might be tempted to do a cheeseboard full of cheap cheese from the dairy section. Don’t do that! Just pick one or two really good cheeses and fill the board with some other food and fruits to make it look nice. Also, if you’re unsure how much cheese you’d need, a good rule of thumb is to calculate 4oz of cheese per person. If budget is not an issue, I recommend going with three to five nice cheeses.
5 different cheeses that go well together:
- Sharp Cheddar
- Smoked Gouda
- Blue Cheese (Gorgonzola is the mildest and my favorite!)
- Goat Cheese
Fresh fruit, honey, olives and nuts are my usual choices. I love the sweet and salty combination and it works for every occasion! Good fruit options are: grapes, figs, pears, clementines, oranges, cherries, berries and apples. Some dried fruits also work really well, like apricots, dried cranberries and dates. Any type of fruit jam will work great with these cheeses! You can either go with the honey or the jam, but I like to add both because…well…go big or go home, right?
As for nuts, candied nuts are my obsession. Salty Marcona almonds also pair amazingly with cheese! You can also add preserved meats, like salami or prosciutto, pickles and cornichons, sun dried tomatoes, and any type of bread or crackers that fits your taste. There is no rule here, just pick your favorite flavors and be creative!
Wooden boards, marble, ceramic, glass, cake stands and even cutting boards. Whatever looks nice, really! To assemble my cheeseboard, I first add the cheeses and then I start decorating the board with the fruits, nuts, olives and whatever other pairings I’m using. Don’t forget: a cheeseboard is all about the presentation!
Then last but not least, ENJOY!