HOW TO STYLE YOUR CHEESE BOARD
Styling your cheese board is really half the job! We eat with our eyes first so don’t underestimate the power of how your cheese board looks. Wow your guests with tips to improve both appearance and taste.
1. THE DISPLAY
The bright colors of the cheese pops when served on an artisan wooden board or a marble or stoneware plate. The platter boosts the appearance of the cheese but also the overall impression of the board.
2. FLAVORS, TEXTURES AND COLORS OF THE CHEESES
Mix up the types of cheeses on the board. Think about flavors, texture (soft, semi-hard and hard cheeses) and colors (white mold, blue mold, red smear and yellow cheese). Variety makes it fun to discover new pairings and also adds visual interest to your board and sparks conversation.
3. HOW TO ARRANGE THE CHEESE
For your presentation, consider leaving some of the cheese mostly whole with a cutting knife beside. Others you can cut in half, or crumble a few easy-to-grab pieces off. Solid yellow cheese can advantageously be cut completely, like in sticks or small cubes.
3. COLORFUL ACCOMPANIMENTS
Accompaniments are what makes a cheese board really fun – this is where you get to experiment with different flavors, textures and combinations. Accompaniements can be simple with just a few cheeses and cured meats or you can go for the full flavor palette depending on the occasion, making it really special.
Serve your accompaniments directly on the board or in small bowls to fill up the negative space and visually enhance the presentation.
Bread comes in many different shapes and variants. Look not only for flavor but also color and texture. It may be crusty sourdough bread, toasted rye bread or a light Italian loaf. Crispbread or delicious rustic biscuits can also be an option and taste delicious with cheese.
Plum chutney, jams, figs or other dried fruits, nuts and fresh berries are excellent choices for blue cheeses as they balance out the sharp flavors from the blue mold.
A true crowd pleaser with artisanal cheeses are cured meats – the perfect duo. Choose prosciutto, sausage, chorizo or similar. If you want to go with more savory items, try pickled onions, tomato and basil pesto or olive tapenade.
Fresh herbs are an easy way to add some freshness and brighten up the cheese board, but make sure the herbs are functional and not just for show. Basil, parsley and thyme are soft and mild, whereas rosemary and sage benefit more from being cooked into crackers or dips.
Remember, not all accessories have to be homemade, you can easily buy stylish accessories in good delis or well-stocked supermarkets.
4. SERVE WHITE WINE OR BEER WITH YOUR CHEESE BOARD
Forget everything you've been told about red wine and cheese, and serve white wine with your cheese instead! Blue cheese matches perfectly with sweet white wine or port wine. An overseas chardonnay is a good all-rounder for the cheese board.
Another possibility is serving beer with your cheese board. The carbon dioxide has a cleansing effect in the mouth when eating soft and creamy cheeses. White Mold cheese goes well with bright Belgian beers, such as Saison or triple ales. Blue cheeses are happy with a glass of barley wine or bock. Strong yellow cheese tastes good in the company of hoppy beers such as an IPA.
And there you have it - the perfect cheese board ready for all your entertaining occasions!
Do you also want tips on temperature, how much cheese to serve and what knives to use? Check out this complete cheese board guide.