If you’re thinking about having some company over but you’re not sure what to offer guests, the cheese board is always a great option! It’s a terrific way to show off your individualism with the cheese, meat, and fruits you prepare – not to mention how you choose to garnish it. The cheeseboard may seem a little daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be as lavish as the ones you see online. You can always make your cheeseboard your own and people will love it just the same!
Though, if you’ve never made one before, the cheeseboard can definitely look like a hefty project. But, we’re going to break down the best cheese, wine, meat, and fruit you can have so you can put your own board together with confidence!
Find The Right Board
The first thing you want to do is make sure you find the right cheese board for your spread. Depending on how many people you’re inviting over, you’re going to want to make sure that you find a board to properly accommodate not only all the cheeses you want but all the condiments and add-ons. There are cheese boards available everywhere, so you don’t need to break the bank trying to get the right one. Naturally, though, the bigger you go, the larger the cost will be.
If you’re trying to get a cheese board together for a casual get-together and you don’t really want to go too large then you should look at getting boards from retail stores.
On the other hand, there are a few ways to jazz up your board if you’re looking to impress (or feed hungry guests).
It’s also important to remember that while there may be a lot of cheese board inspirations out there, you don’t need to emulate them entirely. Don’t break the bank building the perfect cheese board! You can build your board however you like. Putting together your own cheese board is one of the most fun things to do in the kitchen because you can make it your own!
Places like Williams Sonoma have a few boards available that not only look good but will only cost you about $30.00 – $50.00! They also have two different sizes so you can decide which one would work best for you.
This cute board here from Stokes also comes with a few additional pieces like cheese cutters so guests can slice however much they want.
Wayfair has some great options for you to choose from; some of their boards come with handles for easy travel and some are just plain ol’ boards that can accommodate quite a bit.
There are larger cheese boards out there that you can even personalize! Feel free to get creative with your engravings too. They can be your name, a cool quote, “this is the best cheese board ever” (or you can also choose something a little more subtle…)
Pick Your Cheese
- Stick to the golden rule of cheese: one firm, one soft, and one blue.
- Have utensils, like cheese knives, ready for guests.
- Select a great wine to go with it.
We previously wrote a piece about the different types of cheese, which is your one-stop-shop for the best cheeses around. With so many great options out there, it can be tempting to pick them all, but it’s best to choose about three kinds of cheese. You can go ahead and pick five if you really feel like it, but no more than that because you don’t want to give too many options. Not to mention, the more cheese you buy, the more expensive it gets. Though, talk about a great thing to spend money on!
You can pick whichever types of cheese you like, but you’re best to mix the textures of cheese you have. Be sure that you choose a couple of different textures, like pairing feta with cheddar. You want to make sure that people have some variety. Of course, you can add whichever cheese you like to your board and don’t need to fret too much if yours doesn’t match the one you saw on Pinterest. I’d like to hope you have guests who won’t stick their noses up at you if you have two soft kinds of cheese on the board. The horror!
Cheese With That Wine?
If you’re thinking of giving your guests a little something to drink then we’ve covered that too. We previously wrote an article about the best wine and cheese pairings for just such an occasion. Don’t feel obligated to add wine if it’s just a casual get together, but if you’re feeling like some vino then you can check out our list for an extensive list of which wines pair best with which cheeses.
White wines are paired better with soft or semi-soft cheeses and red wine are best paired with hard-aged or firm cheese.
Let Your Cheese Stand
Cheese boards are a great thing to break out when you want to feed guests but don’t want them to stock up on too much food. Though, you want to make sure that your cheese board is the best it can be, so make sure that you leave your cheese out on the board for about an hour before anyone comes over because having the cheese sit out will allow them to reach their peak scents and flavors.
Add Sweet And Salty
Now, I mean, you can have just cheese, but it’s best for you to add some crackers, fruit, and condiments to the board in order for you to give your guests something to stack their cheese on!
Fruits And Vegetables
A lot of fruits like lemon, watermelon, apples, pears, and berries pair really well with different kinds of cheese. You can slice some pieces of apricot as well or sprinkle some raisins on your board. Fruits work well with cheese because the sweetness of the fruit complements the saltiness of the cheese.
If you’re leaning towards vegetables, it’s not uncommon for people to add pickles or olives to your cheese board. You can also sprinkle some herbs in there like arugula or sprigs of parsley. People can season their creations with it, but if they don’t want to then a few sprigs here and there adds to the aesthetic appeal, which makes it great for fancier cheese boards!
One of the most important things to have for a cheese board is some type of cracker.
If you’re catering to a more casual get together then you can use almost anything for a crunchy snack like Wheat Thins, crackers, Toppables, or melba toast for your guests to pile cheese and fruit on top of. These ones are great because they get the job done but you can also find them at your local grocery store!
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a fancier snack then you can add some sea salt crackers or other flavored crackers. You may want to stay away from garlic or onion flavored crackers because the taste can be a little overpowering.
Much like how you can mix up the different kinds of cheese, you can also add a few different kinds of crackers. You can add in gluten-free, whole wheat, or just the regular ol’ crackers so people can pick and choose. You can also include some slices of bread.
Something else you can add is some meat to the cheese board.
You can add some slices of salami, capicola, or prosciutto. These can be served very thinly sliced so the meat doesn’t overpower the taste of the cheese or the other yummy additions. Foodal talked about the best kinds of meat to add to your board and they recommend that you “only offer one type of really smoky meat. Too much smoke flavor and soon all anyone will taste is the smoke.”
You can also throw in some pork or sausage, which are inexpensive and can be used if you’re putting together a casual cheese board. Quality salami or prosciutto can be a little more expensive, so those are probably the meats you should focus on for the fancier boards.
It’s important to remember that you don’t need to go overboard with your cheese board. They might look like they’re a lot of work, but they don’t need to be any larger than you want them to be! Even if you’re thinking of throwing a fancy board together, that doesn’t mean that you need a large platter. You can have a smaller board with fancier things and that also ensures that everything will be consumed.
Cheese boards are a great way to express yourself in the kitchen! You can follow your instincts or draw inspiration from some photos. But ultimately, you’re making your own board and it can be a great reflection of your personal tastes and favorite foods!