10 Tips For The Perfect Cheeseboard

rye and caraway crackers with cheese

When it comes to creating the perfect cheeseboard, selecting cheeses and matching accompaniments could confuse the fiercest fromage fan. There are so many cheeses to choose from! Let alone the cheese knives and how to use them. To guide you on your way, we’ve put together a simple list of 10 Tips for the Perfect Cheeseboard.

10 Tips for The Perfect Cheeseboard

  1. Take your cheeses out of the fridge about one hour before you plan to serve them. Unless it’s crazy hot of course! Nothing worse than a ripe Camembert melting all over your Tallegio.
  2. Never have more cheeses than guests – it’s a French thing!
  3. Always have an odd number of cheeses – three, five, seven etc – it’s another French thing!
  4. Always provide a separate serving knife for each cheese so you don’t get Gorgonzola veins in your Gouda.
  5. Serve cheeses on a round board or platter starting at 6pm and arranging clockwise from the mildest or sweetest cheese to the strongest flavoured cheese.
  6. Don’t pre-slice your cheeses as they will dry out.
  7. Choose cheeses that represent different types of milk – cow (Comte), goat (Chèvre) or sheep’s milk (Manchego) or a different family of cheese (fresh, washed rind, blue veined).
Manchego cheese on a cheeseboard
Manchego is a sheep milk cheese
  1. Choose a variety of soft / firm mild / strong cheeses. A five- cheese selection might include: 
  • A Goat Chevre (Meredith Dairy), 
  • A Triple Cream (Brillat Savarin), 
  • A Semi – Hard (Comte), 
  • A Hard – (Cheddar), 
  • A Blue (Gorgonzola, Stilton, Roquefort depending on your taste)
Triple Cream Cheese slice
Slice your cheese to ensure every piece has the heart (the best part) and the rind
  1. When cutting yourself a piece of cheese the basic rule is that every piece you cut should have an equal proportion of the heart or middle the rind of the cheese.
  • Round cheeses – slices wedges like a cake or pie so that everyone who takes a piece gets a taste of the centre of the cheese – often the ripest and best part.
  • For a pre-cut triangle or wedges of cheese – slice narrow wedges from point to edge. Never ever cut off the point. The French call this “cutting off your nose”
  • Log Cheese – just cut slices. Easy!
  • For block cheese – cut off the rind on the bottom cutting equal sections lengthwise. When it gets closer to the end start slicing the other way, so that no one is left with a piece that is mostly rind.
  1. Choose a selection of cheese accompaniments such as quince paste, nuts, honey, bread baskets and of course CRACKERS! Fruits like grapes, blueberries, slices of apples or pears help cleanse your palate between cheeses. In season figs and apricots are great too.
Sliced fruit and crackers on cheeseboard
Sliced pear and crackers go well on any cheeseboard

Bonus Tips!

One thing to keep front of mind when creating a cheeseboard is that less is usually more.  Don’t fall into the trap of overloading your board with a mish mash of extras (definitely no liquorice all sorts, pretzels or crisps please). It’s nice to have spaces in between.

If you’re serving your cheeseboard as an entrée with aperitifs, include accompaniments like salty wild olives, roasted nuts for texture and honeycomb for sweetness.

If you’re serving your cheeseboard as a course before dessert (it’s a French thing) try adding some sliced apples or pears for palate cleansers and maybe some dried fruit.

Whatever the cheesy occasion, never fear! Just follow our 10 Tips for the Perfect Cheeseboard as a guide and use your creativity to be sure to impress your guests next time the cheese is passed around.

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