How to create a holiday cheese board
Have you ever found yourself wondering how to assemble a cheese board? Here we show you step by step how easy it is to create the perfect cheese board just in time for the holidays.
Have you ever wondered how to put together a lovely elegant cheese board? With the holidays here that means entertaining lots of family and friends. Here we share how easy it is to create a customized cheese board with various cheeses and simple ingredients to impress your guests.
The first step for your cheese board is to select a few types of cheese that range in flavors from mild to pungent and in textures from soft to hard. If you're asking yourself whether or not you have to go a gourmet market to find these cheeses, the answer is no. Today most regular grocery stores have a gourmet cheese section offering a large selection of theses types of cheeses. For our cheese board we selected the following cheeses:
- Double cream Brie is a soft, mild and a very creamy cheese and pairs with just about everything on a cheese board.
- Dutch Gouda is a wonderful cheese that is slightly sweet with a hint of nuttiness. A firm cheese and, while still fairly mild, you can find a wide variety of aged and smoked Gouda cheeses today. The longer the cheese has been aged the more it develops a caramel or even a butterscotch aftertaste and is quite pleasing on a cheese board.
- Danish blue is a very hard, crumbly cheese with a very strong pungent and distinct flavor. Some people are turned off by this cheese because they are unsure of how to use it or unfamiliar with other foods to pair with it. Since it's a very strong cheese, it pairs well with apples, pears, honey and a variety of breads and crackers. This is an excellent cheese to crumble over a big green salad, since you need such a small amount to get the flavor.
The second step is to choose a variety of foods to pair with your cheeses. Typically the most common items to include would be:
- Fruit and nuts — such as fresh strawberries, sliced apples, grapes, figs, pears or dried apricots. You can use almonds, cashews, pecans or walnuts like we used for our cheese board.
- Fresh herbs — such as rosemary are perfect to spruce up our cheese board. They not only add great color to all of the cheeses and fruits, but they are also 100 percent edible.
- Other items you can add to your cheese board are flavored jams or honey. Here we used a fig jam from a local grocer and and also fresh orange blossom honey. You may be surprised at how wonderful these simple condiments are with the fruits and cheeses when drizzled over the top.
Bread and crackers
Breads and crackers — include sliced or toasted fresh breads or baguettes, and a variety of different crackers. Again the key is to be creative and use different textures and flavors.
Add several types of wine for your guest to sip on while they enjoy this wonderful cheese board. Wines do not have to be expensive and again you can find them at your local grocer. For our board we served:
- Moscato — a very sweet and fruity wine and is commonly known as a dessert wine.
- Chardonnay — a very light, crisp wine that is still fairy sweet and very refreshing.
- Pinot noir — a dry dark red or burgundy wine with fruity hints of blackberry or raspberry and not as sweet.
- Sauvignon blanc — a wine with a distinctive flavor. Still slightly sweet it can range in taste with notes of anything from citrus, to herbal, fruity to even grassy flavors.
How to assemble
Finally you want to assemble your cheese board. Colors, textures and height make this stand out. Arrange the cheeses on the board filling it in with the fresh fruits, nuts, bread and crackers, jams or honey and decorate with some of the fresh herbs. The best thing about preparing a cheese board is that it takes minimal planning and almost no time to put together. Use your creativity and experiment with any food, cheeses and wine you choose while still impressing all of your guests.