It may seem impossible, but you can learn how to make a cheese board like a pro.
One of the most visually tantalizing treat for any cheese lover in an exquisitely prepared cheese board. It’s art on a plate. There’s an interplay of colors, texture, and space.
A cheese board is a way to showcase a variety of cheeses for tasting. These can be served before or after a meal. Basically, it may look simple with its cheese, salami, fruits and, nuts.
You may be tempted to think that making a cheese board is simply putting whatever cheese you have on hand on the board. That’s it.
However, there are a few things you have to consider before you do that. Here are some factors that affect how you’ll be creating your cheese board.
First off, be mindful of how many persons you are serving. Don’t try to put too much cheese that you may end up with lots of leftovers. That would seem impossible, though, especially if your guests are really cheese lovers.
Food Network recommends about 1 to 2 ounces of each cheese per person if you’re serving the cheese as hors-d’oeuvre. If you’re serving the cheese as an after-dinner cheese course, allocate 1 to 1-1/2 ounces of each cheese per person.
Once you know how many are going to share the cheese boards, it’s easier to select and buy your cheeses.
When trying to select cheeses, vary your selection depending on the texture and type of cheese.
Choose at least 3 kinds of cheeses, and go for a maximum of 5. If you serve more than 5 kinds of cheeses, your guests’ palate may be overwhelmed. But it’s really up to you, as you would know your guests better.
Vary the texture by having a combination of soft and hard cheeses. You may have a soft cheese like a chevre or brie, a semi-soft cheese like a Monterey Jack, a semi-hard cheese like a Manchego (one of my faves!), a hard cheese like an aged Grana Padano, and a blue cheese like a Roquefort.
Another way to select your cheeses is by region. You may pick a representative cheese from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and England.
Cheese will always go well with the right accompaniment. It could be some crackers, slices of bread or even biscuits. You can also throw in some fruits, jams, nuts and cured meats like prosciutto or Jamon Serrano.
Do not limit yourself to a certain type of accompaniment to go with the cheese. In fact, adventurous guests will have a diverse tasting experience thanks to your creative selections.
Of course, a good cheese tasting session is never complete without the perfect wine. Or beer, if you like.
When it’s time to serve your cheese board, be sure all of the cheeses are at room temperature. Always serve cheese at this temperature. Do not refrigerate cheese for too long or it may ruin its texture and flavor. Take them out of the chiller at the right time.
One thing to avoid is putting a wedge of cheese on the board and letting your guest cut it themselves. Cut the cheese before putting it on the board. Prepare thin slices of cheddar which can be eaten in just one bite and avoid cutting any of the cheese into cubes. Don’t cut the cheese too early though since it may lose some of its moisture.
The most common cheese boards are made of wood, including acacia, bamboo, But nowadays you can also find boards or platters made of slate, ceramic or marble.
They come in different sizes, from a personal size that’s good for a couple, to a large one (like a rectangular wooden board as long as 36″) perfect for big parties.
Lastly, add the garnishes, bread, and pairings in a way that the guest would be able to mix and match as they see fit. Don’t pour jams over the cheese and just let them stand in their own jar. Achieve a diversity of flavor from just a few cheese and pairings served properly.