Cheeseboards are the perfect appetizer for parties, holiday entertaining and casual get-together with friends – you can arrange one ahead of time and it requires no cooking or extra work when serving which means more time for entertaining guests and socialising 😉
It can be as simple or advanced as you like, and the best part is the flavours, aromas, shapes and textures is sure to be a hit with everyone!
Ahead are seven expert tips for assembling and styling your cheese board:
When selecting cheeses for a cheese board, you want to think about colour, shape and texture. There are various types of cheese – hard cheese, cream cheese and mould cheeses ranging from subtle brie to a stronger blue mould cheese.
A good rule of thumb when deciding what to serve is to include atleast 3-5 different types. Also, remember to have a mild cheese in your selection for guests that are not as adventurous as you!
The beauty of assembling your cheeseboard is that you can let your creativity run free! To start, use a cheese board with character. A beautiful wood or marbled cheeseboard is always a winner, just make sure it is large enough to accommodate all the food for your entire group.
Arrange the cheese from mild to strong, beginning with very soft spreadable cheese to a few hard cheeses in varying colours, and something a bit exotic and unexpected. Some pairing ideas include nuts, berries, fruit preserves, cornichons, chutney, honeycomb, olive tapenade, or caramelized onion jam – the trick is to give your guests contrasting colours and flavours that are pleasing to both the eye and the palette.
Cutting the cheeses
Knowing how to properly cut cheese will not only make for an aesthetically pleasing board, it will also make sure everyone around the table gets the same bite-sized nibbles.
Yellow cheeses and hard cheeses can be cut into triangles, sticks or bricks. Brie can be cut into wedges and blue cheese can be cut into squares or wedges depending on the shape.
When assembling, add a knife or cheese cutter for each cheese so the flavours don’t mix.
Pro tip: for a seamless cut, heat the knife in hot water before cutting the blue cheese.
No one likes to eat cold cheese straight from the refrigerator – it makes it difficult to prepare, but also hinders guests from tasting the full flavour of the cheese.
Depending on the weather, you want to take out the cheese atleast 15 minutes before serving. For cooler seasons, 30 minutes to an hour is ideal for bringing them down to room temperature.
Keep in mind that soft cheeses warm up more quickly than its firmer counterpart.
If you’re feeling unsure about what to pair with your selection of cheeses, something to remember is to choose accompaniments that complement and not compete with the flavours of the cheese. Some ideas for neutral pairings are crackers, crisps or bread with a rustic crust.
Fresh fruits like apples, pears and berries also pair well with cheese and add a colourful touch to your cheeseboard.
Cheese and wine
Deciding exactly which wine to choose for which cheese may seem like a daunting task, especially when you’re a beginner. Check out the quick guide below to find out how to make the perfect wine and cheese pairing:
Always taste the cheese and then the wine; this gives you the best taste experience. For tangy cheeses such as goat cheese choose a fresh wine made from Sauvignon Blanc Grapes. Average strong hard cheeses and salty cheeses such as blue mould and hard aged cheeses go well with a glass of port.
Finish with fresh herbs
A great way to liven up your cheese board is to sprinkle some greenery sparingly around your board. Snip some fresh herbs from the garden or take a quick trip to the grocer for some fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, dill, chives or tarragon.
The aromatic sprigs not only serve as a stylish garnish, but they whet the appetite for all the deliciousness that’s about to come!
Do you have any expert tips on creating the perfect cheeseboard? Let us know in the comments below!