With Easter fast approaching and the possibility of friends and family visiting with the inevitable meal or two, I thought I’d focus this month’s blog on selecting the perfect cheese board. After all, it is the end of the meal and can leave a lasting impression, especially if you get it right.
I’d like to just be clear here that there are no right or wrongs to putting a cheeseboard together, so for what it’s worth here’s my top 5 tips on putting a cheese board together
Go to an independent store like a deli, a cheese shop, a farm shop or your local farmers market or food festival. Basically go where you can try before you buy. Nothing makes the experience more fun than tasting the different cheeses.
Select a range of flavours and textures - from mild to mature, hard to soft. It gives variety to your board and you’re sure to please more of your guests that way. I love putting our crumbly Doris next to our creamy Teesdale Blue on a board – the contrast in look alone really brings it to life and the two textures provide a great contrast too.
Get your portion sizes right. There’s nothing worse than a sliver of cheese, you want a decent mouthful for each person, or is that just us…?Seriously, we’d suggest about 50-60gms of cheese (in total) for each person if it’s coming at the end of the meal. (I’ll talk about other portions sizes for other events another time.)
Select good quality crackers or crispbreads. You want something to complement your cheese selection not overpower it. We use Peter’s Yard crispbreads. They offer a great variety.
It's a good idea to add fruits like apple or pear, crunch such as celery and carrot sticks or high quality chutneys and pickles to add tang. This adds lots of colour and interest to your board. In addition, if you have a really soft 'scoopable' cheese (that's a technical term in our house), you can use some of these to help you scoop it up!
Finally, relax and enjoy. Okay, I accept it’s possible that not everyone will like everything on your board, but this a sharing experience. You can create fantastic conversations and debates about the likes and dislikes on the board, and create a genuine passion for cheese with your guests.
If you’d like more information on selecting cheese for a dinner party visit our youtube channel and check out the cheeseboard dinner party playlist.