Fun and easy to do is a crowd's favorite, the "Cheese Board," I mean who don't love a beautiful display of different cheeses paired with fruits, bread and wine. Now, there are plenty of posts and blogs about the right way to put a cheese board together, well I'm here to tell you do whatever works for you. The versatility of this is a great, you can use it as an appetizer, at brunch or part of your meal. With so much to choose from, the possibilities are endless. But before you run out and buy ton of cheese, fruits, and a few baguettes, let's take a look at some of the basics that you should follow:
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- 4 oz of cheese per guest
- 2 oz if guests are kids
- Cheese should be served at room temperature
- Serve 3-5 different cheeses
Like I said earlier, there are plenty of cheeses to choose from, from soft to hard, fresh to blue, goat, gouda, feta, mozzarella, and on and on, think about what you like. Before you venture out and buy one of each, I would strongly suggest you try them out. A board full of cheese that no one wants to eat defeats the purpose. Publix and other brand supermarkets tend to have a their version of a cheese board in a plastic container, get one of those and see what your palette thinks. On my board, I went with blue cheese, cheddar cheese, and honestly this package cheese which looks great but not so appetizing. Needless to say , it was left on the board.
Serve your cheese on a wooden board. I bought mine from Burlington at $8.99 while perusing their home decor aisle. I also find these great cheese knives, which are smaller than your usual knife and went great with my theme.
- Crackers or slices of french bread.
- Preserved meats (like sausage, salami, prosciutto, etc...)
- Fruits (grapes or apples works best)
- Jams (if that's your thing)
I went with crackers, apple slices, grapes both green and red (always seedless), and Jim Beam Summer Sausage. It's a hard dried smoked sausage similar to salami and can be kept without refrigeration. It was delicious.
The other thing you read a lot about is "wine and cheese pairing," to me that is difficult unless you plan on having several different wines. I am sure there is something to this but honestly I went with something that I would like and just compliment the saltiness of the cheeses. I decided on a bottle of Arbor Mist Chardonnay Tropical Fruits flavored, which was a big hit. The sweetness of the wine mixed with the flavorful cheese, salty crackers, and fruits was right on the money. So, I'm sure you can spend hours researching the best wine for each cheese or just go with something light and sweet.
I, of course, wanted not just cheese on a board but a full theme display. I filled a giant wine glass vase with corkscrews, add a single stem of rose, all sitting on a wood centerpiece slab. I used my blue wine glasses to add another hue to the table. Since my 4 year old was part of my brunch, as he is part of most of the things I do, I added a carafe of pink lemonade.
add them all together and you get (drum roll please...)
This was not only fun but again, very easy to put together. Another tip for your display is to cover your board and cheese with a damp (not too wet or hot) cloth prior to your first guest arriving. That will keep things fresh. I would also suggest you take out the cheese 1-2 hours prior to your dinner party. Don't crowd your board, depending on the size add cheese accordingly. Remember, there are other things on your board like fruits, bread, crackers, meat, or whatever else, so too many cheese or too much stuff on there looks messy and confusing. Since I only served 3 cheeses, I didn't label them but I suggest you do if your are planning on adding more than 3.
- Using index cards, cut in half
- Write the name of each cheese and placed it behind
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Michaels also sell these wooden stick chalkboard labels which works great and you can stick them right in the cheese.
Engaged your senses with the scent of each of the cheese, the display, your palette and not to mention the approval sounds of your guests. Hope you enjoy this, drop me a note about your board.