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A Cheese Board is a serving platter displayed with cuts of cheese and accompaniments that are offered to dining guests. Whether served as an elegant appetizer, as a main course, in between courses, or as a dessert after a meal, a Cheese Board should provide a variety of flavors, textures, colors and styles to enhance your event. Cheese Boards come in a variety of sizes and materials, and the board may be made of wood, marble, stainless steel or glass, and is typically round, oval, square or rectangular in shape.
Selecting Cheeses For The Cheese Board
When preparing your Cheese Board, three to five cheeses per board are optimal, so as to not overwhelm the palate. While your Cheese Board may be simple or extravagant, there are some guidelines that can be followed. When making your cheese selections it is best to offer a variety of flavors, textures and appearances. An easy way to offer your guest variety is to offer a soft cheese, such as Camembert, a semi-hard cheese, such as Maytag Blue, and a hard cheese such as mature Cheddar. Or you may prepare your Cheese Board based on cheese type, for example, offering a selection of semi-hard cheeses, such as a classic Cheddar and Gouda, or blue cheeses, such as Roquefort and Stilton. You may also create your Cheese Board with all goat's milk cheeses or sheep's milk cheeses. Or create your Cheese Board by country such as American, Spanish, English or French. Or try a cheese comparison board, such as igourmet's Classic Italian Hard Cheese Comparison which compares hard cheeses made from the same recipe or our Gouda Through The Ages which offers the opportunity to compare how a single variety of cheese matures through the aging process.
Cheese Board Accompaniments
Provide accompaniments to the Cheese Board that accentuate the flavor of the cheese such as toasts, flatbreads, crackers and biscuits. An assortment of fresh and dried fruits such as apples, pears, grapes, peaches, plum, figs or berries and nuts such as walnuts and almonds are also ideal compliments to Cheese Boards. Honey or an exquisite balsamic vinegar may also be offered since they withstand the strong flavors of pungent cheeses. When choosing a wine to pair with your cheese, choose a wine from the region where the cheese is made, such as a Spanish wine to pair with your Spanish Cheeses, or start with these general suggestions:
Cheese Board Presentation
- Fresh cheeses pair well with crisp fruity wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
- Salty Blue cheeses pair well with sweet dessert wines such as Sauternes or Port
- Aged cheeses pair well with red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Burgundy or Zinfandel
- Rich creamy cheeses pair well with champagne or other sparkling wines
It is best to cut your cheese into different sizes and shapes in order to provide a unique appearance. Remove wrappers from cheese but leave cheese rinds intact. It is important to let cheese reach room temperature prior to serving in order to obtain the best flavor and texture from each cheese. It is best to place soft cheeses in the center of the Cheese Board, semi-soft and semi-firm around the soft cheese, and firm cheese on the outside of the Cheese Board, since firm cheeses are the hardest to cut. Remember to space your cheeses so that they don’t touch each other and accidentally blend their flavors, and be sure to provide each cheese its own knife: Flatter knives are best for soft, spreadable cheeses, and thicker, wider sharper knifes are best for harder cheeses.
If you following these basic suggestions, your Cheese Board will be sure to delight your guests. Just remember to be creative and have fun with your selections, and your Cheese Board will certainly be a success.
Not sure what cheeses to include? Let us do the work for you! We offer a wide variety of Cheese Boards based on a various regions, types and textures. Our bamboo cheese boards create a truly distinctive gift. The cheeses may be enjoyed on the spot, but these fine cheese boards will last for years to come. Just open your favorite bottle of wine and enjoy! Bon appétit!
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