We're about to get into that time of year when entertaining guests becomes more regular and the weather demands heartier fare. Here are some tips for building a cheese board that is sure to wow! This version uses local and regional cheeses and be sure to check back for our Imported Edition.
When building a cheese board, there are several things to consider: of course the types of cheese you'll serve, but also quantities and accompaniments become important. If you're serving cheese as a precursor to a fabulous meal, plan on 1-2 ounces of cheese per person. If cheese is the main event, plan on 5-6 ounces per person.
One thing you'll definitely want to consider when building a cheese board is having a variety of flavors and textures. Our regional board features a creamy herbed labneh or yogurt cheese, a pungent and more crumbly blue cheese, a sturdy Swiss, a tangy and spreadable goat cheese and a hearty cheddar. Think about how you can incorporate cheeses that use cow's, goat's and sheep's milk so that you can taste the difference in flavor.
While chowing down on big servings of cheese is always fun and delicious, it's also important to serve accompaniments that provide balance to the flavors of your cheeses. We like to serve some sort of candied nuts (pistachios in this case) for sweetness and crunch. It's also a good idea to serve some sort of bread item, like crackers, bread sticks or sliced baguettes. For this board we used multigrain crackers. Some sort of sweet fruit or chutney also adds for a nice balance. We have lots of fresh figs in right now, but dried figs or dates would also be delicious. And because it's both pretty and delicious we like to serve a piece of local honeycomb from Woodland Apiaries.
Here are few other helpful tips when building a cheese board: -Don't overcrowd your board. You want to make sure that there is enough room to serve a knife for each type of cheese. -Remove cheese from the refrigerator about an hour before your guests arrive. Cold cheese won't have as strong a flavor. -Be sure to label your cheeses so that you don't have to repeat yourself all evening.
Now come on and let Dalynne, our resident Cheese-monger, help you build that perfect cheese board!