If you’ve ever stood in the cheese aisle in a grocery store, you’re well aware that selecting the right cheeses can be super intimidating and then you still have to think of accompaniments. Don’t worry I’ve got you covered. Here are some simple tips on how to create a delightful cheese board.
Selecting the Cheese:
Choose cheeses with a variety of flavours, textures, ages, and colours. From mild to sharp, soft to hard, fresh to aged, the combinations are limitless. Most cheese belongs to one of four basic categories: aged, soft, firm, or blue. For a good variety, choose at least one from each group.
- Aged: Aged Cheddar, Gouda, Boerenkaas
- Soft: Brie, Camembert, Soft goats cheese, Cream cheese
- Firm: Gruyère, Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Blue: Gorgonzola, Stilton, Blue Rock
Select two to five cheeses and plan on about 80-100 grams of cheese per person. This amount can vary depending on the course.
- Offer a selection of breads or crackers; try using different shapes and sizes. It’s a good idea to vary taste and texture among the breads as well as the cheeses.
- If you’re looking for a sweeter board try sweet preserves, fruit (frozen or grilled) try freezing or grilling grapes.
- If you’re looking for more of a savoury experience you can add artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, olives, various cured meats and caramelized onions, which complement most cheese plates.
- Or you can mix sweet & savoury (see pictures).
- Remove the cheese from the refrigerator an hour before serving―cold mutes flavour.
- Don’t forget to serve wine, beer, or fruit juices. They help cut the richness of the cheese and also clear the palate.
- Don’t be afraid to try something new. It may smell funny, but try it anyway. You just might fall in love.
- Try label each cheese so you won’t need to recite the names all evening.