How Do You Make The Perfect Cheeseboard?
How to Make The Perfect Cheeseboard
Nothing beats a delicious cheeseboard. Maybe you’re entertaining friends, having a special family meal, going on a picnic or just in the mood for a cheese feast! It could be eaten at the end of the meal, or even as the main event. Whatever the occasion, a well-thought out cheeseboard can offer something for everyone. Here are some tips to help you create the perfect cheeseboard.
A Variety of Flavours, Textures & Styles
The cheese is the most important feature of your cheeseboard, so give your selections some serious consideration. Ensure you have a good selection of cheeses on offer. Try and offer a variety of textures, styles and flavours. For example, you might want to include a hard cheese, a soft cheese and a blue cheese. If children are going to be tucking in, you might want to ensure you have a milder flavoured cheese in the mix.
To add to the variety consider including a goat or ewes’ milk cheese, as well as the more traditional cows’ milk cheeses.
You might want to pick a theme for your cheeseboard. For example, Alpine, European or British Cheeses. If you’ll be eating your cheeseboard at the end of a meal, the flavours of the cheese should be a continuation of the meal. In other words, if you’re going to be serving strong flavoured dishes in the main course, choose strong flavoured cheeses for your cheese board.
Here are some suggestions of cheeses that offer different flavour strengths:
Strong Flavoured Cheeses: Montgomery Cheddar, Epoisse de Bourgogne, Stilton or Picos de Europa
Medium Flavoured Cheese: Tunworth, Montagnolo Affine and Richard III Wensleydale
Milder Flavoured Cheese: Bath Soft, Cerney Ash and Kaltbach
The ideal number of cheeses to serve is 3 or 4… unless you have a large number of guests. In which case, you could serve more, to ensure that everyone’s tastes are catered for.
It’s always a nice idea to label your cheeses, so your guests know what cheeses they’re enjoying. If you want to really impress, you could even prepare some cheese tasting notes!
How Much to Serve
If you’re serving a cheeseboard at the end of the meal, you need to allow about 80g – 100g of cheese per person. For example, if there are 8 people you need to serve between 600g and 800g of cheese in total.
If you’re serving your cheeseboard as the main event, you will need to allow slightly more cheese per person, We’d recommend between 150g and 200g of cheese per person.
Don’t limit yourself to just cheese. Because eating is such a sensory experience, a variety of textures and flavours makes any cheeseboard more interesting. And the truth is, everyone likes their cheese a little different. Some like it savoury, some like it sweet and others like a combination of both. Therefore consider adding some accompaniments with various tastes and textures, such as crunchy, crisp, creamy, gooey or crumbly. But always remember that the accompaniments you serve need to compliment the cheeses and not over-power them. Always choose crackers or breads with mild flavours and a good crunch. We love Peter’s Yard Crackers.
You could add to the enjoyment of your cheese by including some sweet elements, such as a chutney, chilli jam, honey, fresh or dried fruit. We highly recommend Rosebud Preserves, which are made in Masham in North Yorkshire.
For a continental feel, try Membrillo, which is a Spanish delicacy made from quinces – perfect with Manchego cheese.
Olives, pickles, nuts and tapenades are also great additions to a cheeseboard.
To add further variety, why not add some charcuterie or cured meat to your cheese board. You could try some Spanish Chorizo or Italian Prosciutto or Salami. Or, if you’d prefer some English cured meats we recommend the cured Dandy’s from ‘Lishman’s of Ilkley’. We include these in several of our Cheese & Gourmet Food Gift Sets, such as ‘Cheese & Beer Lovers Collection' and our ‘World Cheese Award Collections'. These all contain a selection of cheese, crackers, chutneys and charcuterie and would all make a fantastic cheeseboard.
Most cheeseboards are assembled on a wooden, slate or marble board. But if you don’t have such a thing to hand, don’t worry, simply use a plate or chopping board. Don’t forget to include cheese knives and spoons for the chutneys.
One final tip on the cheese, we recommend that you take the cheese out of the fridge about an hour before you serve it. This will allow it to come up to room temperature, which will enhance the flavours of the cheese.
What to Drink
Don’t forget to ensure that the drinks you serve are also complementary to your cheese board. It’s worth considering the provenance of the cheeses, for example, if you’re serving French cheese, research the region of France where the cheese was made and try and pair it with a wine from the same region. Similarly, British cheeses could be paired with an English wine, or even a delicious cider.
Sweet dessert wines are perfect for enjoying with blue cheese.
Why Not Order One of Our Gift Collections?
Many of our gift collections offer ready-made solutions for your cheese board needs. For example, our ‘Simply the Best Collection' and our ‘European Collection' both offer lovely cheese combinations, which would be perfect for a cheeseboard.
‘Simply the Best’ contains Black Bomber Cheddar, Richard III Wensleydale, Brie de Meaux and Colston Bassett Stilton, whilst the 'European Collection' contains Comté, Manchego, Epoisse de Bourgogne, Tomme de Pyrenees & Montagnolo Affine.
Each set also contains a selection of chutney and crackers.