Creating A Cheese Board: An Accessories And How To Guide
There are countless types of cheese, and plenty of accessories to serve and enjoy this dairy treat. Whether accompanied by a glass of red wine or a spread of crackers and toast, cheese boards are an attractive vehicle to present an array of cheeses to dining guests. Materials, shapes and sizes will vary according to your aesthetic preference.
Below are some general guidelines to follow when creating the perfect cheese board:
What Cheeses Do I Buy?
- When serving guests, buy 1 to 2 ounce(s) of cheese per person, per cheese
- Serve no more than five or six cheeses total
- Offer an eclectic selection of cheeses with different appearances, strengths, textures, colors and flavors – variety is key
- Possible cheese themes may include different types of milk used (e.g., sheep, goat and cow cheeses); one kind of milk/cheese (e.g.,all goat cheeses); exploring various countries (e.g., American, French and Spanish cheeses); cheeses from the same country; different types (e.g., soft, blue and hard cheeses); and more
How Do I Serve the Cheese?
- Take cheese selection out of the fridge at least an hour prior to serving
- Cheese should be eaten at room temperature for a full, satisfying flavor, aroma and texture
- Cheese board should be large enough to host all cheeses without forcing items to touch or overlap
- Remove wrappers, but do not remove cheese rinds
- Put out assorted knives: a butter knife for softer cheeses, a triangle-shaped knife for harder cheeses and a cheese wire for potentially crumbly cheeses, such as goat cheese
- Pre-cut certain cheeses into thick chunks, particularly hard cheeses
- Arrange the cheeses so they are in a specific order (e.g., from mildest to strongest tastes)
- Pair cheeses with food items that will enhance and complement the cheeses’ flavors, such as crackers, bread (e.g., flatbreads, toasts, sliced baguettes and rye), wine, nuts and fresh or dried fruits (e.g., grapes, pears, apples, apricots, figs and dates)
How Do I Store The Leftover Cheese?
- Wrap leftover cheese in breathable wax or parchment paper instead of Saran Wrap; the latter will suffocate the cheese and leave a plasticky taste
- Cheese should be stored in the refrigerator’s vegetable drawer or another humid section that is exposed to more moisture
Want An Inexpensive, Basic Cheese Board?
If you can do without any extra bells and whistles, a timeless wooden cheese board will do the trick. This eco-friendly, 17-inch cheese board is made out of plantation teak, a popular and versatile wood. What's more, the company abides by responsible forestry practices.
Looking For An All-Encompassing Product?
Try the Celtic Cheese Board set by Picnic at Ascot. The Celtic design includes a removable ceramic dish for sides like crackers and fruits and three cheese service utensils (knife, spreaders and fork) that can be inset in the board.
Prefer Labels On Your Cheese Board?
Swissmar’s Oval Slate Cheese Serving Board allows you to label your cheeses directly on the board! Scribble names of the cheeses and/or paired foods with chalk (sold separately) for an extra special touch. The non-porus board is handcrafted with natural, unfinished edges and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. Felt pads will protect table surfaces.
Need A Simple Travel Option?
For an easy-to-transport option, Picnic Time’s Asiago is a split-level cutting board that can open up and fold down. At the top level of the board are four stainless steel cheese tools secured to a magnetic, wooden strip. The board is made out of eco-friendly rubber wood.
Want A Creative Yet Convenient Choice?
Especially for piano aficionados, the Piano Grand cheese board from Picnic Time is a clear choice if you want a cheese board with a unique appearance. When propped open, the cheese board resembles a baby grand piano and reveals stainless steel wine and cheese tools under the lid. When closed, the top made of bamboo works as the perfect cheese board.
Prefer To Buy Cheese Utensils Separately?
If you are buying the cheese board solo without included tools, consider also purchasing the Rosle Cheese Cutting set. The set of three stainless steel knives includes an 11-inch, sharply serrated cheese knife with holes in the blade for medium cheeses; 7 3/4-inch cheese cleaver with a slightly curved blade for medium to firm cheeses; and a 9 1/2-inch cheese plane to slice and serve firm cheeses.
Cheese boards are perfect for small gatherings, parties, picnics or just a casual meal. Add one to your kitchen inventory for a classy way to showcase cheese and other small, edible goodies.