To start, make sure that you have a sturdy serving platter, or even a large plank of rustic wood would do. I think it is important to have variety when it comes to food, and quality is exceptionally important. You have to eat, so why not eat well?! Plan on buying 3-4oz. of cheese per person, and having at least 3 different varieties and textures of cheese. For example, have a soft cheese such as a creamy brie or goat cheese, a semi-hard cheese like fontina, cheddar or gouda, and then a hard cheese like a wedge of parmigiano reggianno. I love to try out different types of your standard cheeses as well, like a smoked aged gouda, or as pictured, a pesto jack cheese.
Then comes the fun little extras. Again, variety is key when it comes to the perfect cheese board, so mixing up flavors like savory olives or roasted red peppers with sweet fig jam and fresh concord grapes are very pleasing to the palate. You can even check your grocer’s bulk bins for roasted nuts and be sure to have some cured meats such as salami, prosciutto, smoked sausage, or capicola on hand. Lastly, have one or two breads or crackers to serve a a vehicle for the cheese, fruits, meats, and savory bites headed your way.
A few insider tips and tricks to making the most of your cheese board is to let your cheese rest for 30 minutes or so before serving. Cheese tastes much better after is has come slightly to room temperature vs. straight out of the fridge. Also, leave the cheese in it’s block form, sliced cheese tends to dry out much faster, and no one wants dry cheese. Keep the conversation flowing by labeling all of your cheese, leaving the guessing game out. And most importantly, have fun!!