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There’s only one thing to remember when assembling a cheese board: variety. Whether that’s variety of milk the cheese is made with- sheep, cow, goat; or variety of texture- soft, semi soft, semi hard, hard; or variety of flavor– salty, pungent, buttery. My choices for this board were crumbly gorgonzola, creamy goat brie, and hard rosemary asiago cheese. For groups of 2-4 people three cheeses are a good amount, while a group of  5-8 people will have plenty with five cheeses. Once you start going over five cheeses it can be overwhelming.

Like the cheese, it’s good to have a number of different accouterments with a combination of taste and texture. I used some salty, slightly spicy salami, and mildly rich mortadella for the meat. For sweetness there was anjou pear and pepper jelly. And for some sour bright flavors– cornichons, coarse ground dijon mustard, and olives- kalamata and manzanilla. I listed only a few options, but the choices are endless: grapes, apple slices, dried apricots, dried cranberries or cherries, almonds, walnuts, prosciutto, sopressata, terrines, pickled asparagus, pickled daikon, pickled onions, any jam/jelly and whatever else you can imagine.

Other tips to keep in mind, if your friends aren’t necessarily cheese savvy be nice and label them with little chalk boards or a menu beside it. Also, cut some of the harder cheeses into pieces whether that be long skinny spears, or more horizontal rectangles. For soft cheeses place a knife near by for spreading. Last, if serving wine check to ensure the flavors are complimentary. I’m no sommelier, but these websites give a good idea on what pairs well together.

That’s really all there is to it!

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