By Tim Oak
Cheese boards are an art form that involves much more than throwing cheese and cracker on a plate and serving it to your guests. Although, they will love whatever creations you serve, I’m going to help you impress your guests. Charcuterie and cheese boards are my go to for no stress entertaining eats. You can load them up with all your favorite cheese, cured meats, fruit, nuts and spreads. Add some wine and baguettes and you have yourself a meal!
When putting together a cheese plate, offer a variety of styles of cheeses. Try finding a combination of aged, firm, soft, crumbly and creamy cheeses. Offer a variety of types of milk as well; cow, goat, sheep, they all have different tastes and textures. That being said – don’t go too crazy, make sure to serve at least one cheese that people are familiar with.
Easy cheese combination options:
Aged: Aged Cheddar or aged Gouda
Firm: Parmigiano-Reggiano or Gruyère
Creamy: Brillat-Savarin or Brie
Crumbly: Chèvre (Goat cheese)
Blue: Gorgonzola or Stilton
This is another time to try to mix up the textures. I like to pick something hard like salami, thinly sliced, something soft and rich like a pate and dry cured meats like prosciutto (fan favorite) and pate or chorizo.
BREADS & CRACKERS
Breads, crackers, chips, crisps, everything works! I like to put out two to three options for people to decide. Crackers are a classic but grilled French bread is my favorite!
Fresh figs or sweet fig jam pairs nicely with creamy Brie. Add something acidic like olives or pickled veggies to break up the rich flavors. Grapes or sliced apples add dimension and color to a plate.
- You can typically allot 2 oz. of cheese and charcuterie per person for appetizers. 5 oz. for a meal.
- Serve a knife for each cheese so flavors don’t mix
- Cheese is best served at room temperature. Remove cheeses from fridge 30 minutes before serving