Think of Crafting A Cheeseboard as a Blank Canvas?


Crafting A Journey of Flavour and Fun

Creating a cheeseboard is not just about slapping some cheeses together on a platter; it’s about crafting a pleasurable and fun experience that tantalizes your taste buds and sparks conversations among family, friends and lovers.

This delightful process offers a blank canvas for creativity.  You can immerse yourself and explore various textures, flavours, and styles. You can cater to different preferences, styles of cheese, flavours, regions and occasions. 

Live by NO RULES in this process of creation!

However, here are some tips and tricks that can help you along your creative path:

1.   The Joy of Diversity

Diversity is the heartbeat of an exceptional cheeseboard. It’s not just about diversity in cheese; it’s shape and colour, about where it comes from, about species and breeds, the young and the old, the stand alone and the augmented with flavour. 

Even if you give you board a theme – and that is a good way to start a story with your cheese -consider the origins of the cheese.  It lets your board tell a story of regions, traditions, culture and farmhouse tables, of people

2.   Who’s Coming to Dinner?

Bear in mind the people around your board.  Some may be knowledgeable cheese lovers, but other may be simple souls with simple tastes.  You may have vegetarians, those who don’t like blue cheese, or pregnant people avoiding raw milk cheeses.  Make sure this is a safe place for everyone. Feel free to ask your guests what they like to help in the creation as well. 

3.   Comparable Strengths

Different cheeses have different strengths – weight in your palate. 

Here are 3 reasons to choose cheese of the right umpf:

  1. When will you be enjoying the cheeseboard?  A big meal dulls the taste buds.  A cheeseboard starter can afford gentler cheeses.  An end of the meal board will need to have more power to compete with the big wines, coffee or chocolate that may have gone before.
  2. The board should have relatively evenly matched cheeses for strength on it.  A gentle sheep’s camembert may appear a bit thin if it sitting next to a ripe Epoisses.
  3. What are you drinking? Lighter drinks can run alongside milder cheeses, heavier wines or spirits will need punchier cheeses to be keep pace.

Think like the different weights in boxing.  Don’t match a fly weight with a heavy weight, it won’t turn out well.

Experiment with the intensity of the cheeses to keep your guests intrigued. Give them a good surprise, something they wouldn’t think of, if you can.

4.   Quantity Matters

Determining how much cheese to include depends on whether the cheeseboard is the main event or a post-dinner treat.

  • For the main event, aim for 160-180 grams (6-7ozs) per person
  • 50 grams (2ozs) per person is sufficient for a post-meal indulgence.
  • Not sure? As a rough rule of thumb, 110 grams per person, around 1/4lb, strikes a balance that ensures everyone leaves satisfied.

5.   How Many Cheeses

The number of different types of cheeses you choose depends on the size of your gathering. 

A one-cheeseboard offers a focused and enjoyable experience, with the opportunity to easily find the perfect wine pairing and is great for small groups. 

A three-cheeseboard, a classic choice, often includes a mix of hard, soft, and in-between textures like a blue. 

A five-cheeseboard, takes the classic board and lets you add some cheese for fun, like washed rind  cheese, flavoured cheeses, or cheese from sheep or goats.  Five is a good number.

The Smorgasboard: as you expand beyond five cheeses, the board transforms into an immersive journey, inviting the addition of complementary elements like salami, ham, olives, pickled onions, garlic, and pickles to name a few. 

6.   Add the extras

Apart from the breads or biscuits, add chutneys and pickles, olives and cured meats, jams, honeys, chocolate or chilli. 

I like to have something for each cheese. 

Its fun to do, and great for conversation as opinions flow on what goes best with which.

7.   And…..  Embrace Experimentation – Break Free from the Mold

There are no rigid rules when it comes to creating a cheeseboard, only guidelines.

Who said you can’t play with your food?!

Have the courage to play around and surprise your guests with unexpected combinations. An element of unpredictability adds excitement and enjoyment to the experience.

Its not just about what you put on the board, but the way you put it on the board. 

Make towers, fans, sprinkles, smears, cut-outs and dips. Make pre-set pairings, pre-made builds like canapes, or cheese and salami rolls.

Whether it’s an unusual cheese pairing, a creative arrangement or an unexpected accompaniment, let your creativity shine. This creativity will cause chatter, laughter, intrigue and most of all fun.

Go Ahead and Build!

In conclusion, the art of creating a cheeseboard lies in your ability to blend diversity, experiment with flavours, and cater to the occasion. 

Whether it’s an intimate gathering or a lively party, the success of your cheeseboard is measured by the smiles, sharing, and satisfaction of your guests. 

So, lets do it, embrace the joy of crafting the perfect cheeseboard – an experience that transcends taste to become a cherished memory!

Find some tasty pairing ideas on our YouTube channel or here in our blog.

Watch my in depth video on cheeseboard crafting here.

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