Cheese board (charcuterie board) is an almost obligatory dish in the buffet menu. First, it is a favorite product of many. And secondly, the combination of the delicate color of cheeses and bright fruits on one dish decorates even the most modest table. Let’s figure out how to make the right cheese board.
Lifehack: you may take a wonderful cheese board with knives from Royal Craft Wood for your pleasure!
What kind of cheese to serve?
For a delicious charcuterie board, you don’t need to use many types. It is especially important to avoid very spicy or very neutral cheeses. Usually an assortment of four to five different varieties is made. For optimal taste, choose all types of cheese: fresh, soft, semi-hard, marbled (blue) and hard.
- Fresh cheese: Mozzarella, Feta, Suluguni, Brynza
- Soft Cheese: Brie, Camembert, Livarot, Rambol
- Semi-hard cheese: Gouda, Maasdam, Russian, Tilsiter
- Blue cheese: Gorgonzola, Stilton, Roquefort, Dor Blue
- Hard cheese: Cheddar, Emmental, Gruye, Athlete
- Chechil cheese occupies a special place. Its fibrous structure can become an additional decorative element.
When composing an assortment, so that the dish does not look boring, you should take into account the shapes and colors of the cheeses.
How to count the amount of cheese?
It depends on the appetite of the guests and the order of the cheese on the menu.
- For an aperitif – about 70 g per person.
- For a cheese board at the end of the meal, usually 100g per person.
- For a wine and cheese menu or buffet, plan on 150-200g per person.
- If cheese is served with a slice of bread or crackers: 20g per serving.
Depending on the budget, you can adjust the price of a cheese board, balancing the cost of one cheese at the expense of another.If there are many guests, make several cheese boards.
What boards to choose?
Wood or bamboo are classic choices for a charcuterie board. Traditionally, a wooden turntable with cheese is used, set in the center of the table. This will allow each guest to get the cheese to their liking. By the way, you may take a cheese board with knives! The most common serving of cheeses on wooden boards. A cheese board looks very nice on a cut of a tree with preserved bark. You can buy cheese boards relatively inexpensively at home improvement stores, but choose hard, non-porous wood that won’t draw moisture out of the cheese. But a simple large wooden cutting board will also look attractive.
An original alternative to wood is slate or ceramic trays. These are natural materials whose gray or terracotta color contrasts harmoniously with white cheeses. An additional advantage: you can write the name of each cheese with chalk. Marble boards or trays are also used to serve cheese. It’s expensive, but very elegant. You can use wicker baskets or any large serving dish. But in this case, special attention should be paid to the presentation.
Put knives, spoons, small tongs, toothpicks and other tools next to the cheese board so that people can serve themselves. Honey or jam should be served in bowls or low glass jars. It is also useful to indicate the name of the cheeses – paper flags are sold in some stores or you can make your own from toothpicks and colored paper.
How to save cheese before serving?
Cheese is a living product. This means that its taste changes depending on storage conditions. Temperature plays an important role. Store pre-purchased cheese in the refrigerator or cellar to stop maturation. Cheeses should always be packaged so that they do not dry out and absorb the taste of neighboring products. Cheese should be served at room temperature, meaning it should be taken out of the refrigerator about an hour before you plan to serve it.
How to decorate a cheese board?
When preparing a presentation, natural materials and ingredients are used: straw, leaves washed with vinegar, edible flowers, dried fruits, small vegetables or fresh fruits, nuts, candied fruits. An important rule: there must be sufficient distance between different types of cheese to avoid mixing flavors.
There are several classic patterns for arranging cheeses on a platter: clockwise from soft to hard; pyramid from small slices to large pieces; graphic drawing depending on the shape and color. By combining cheeses of different shapes, interesting lines can be created. Round and square cheeses can be cut in half and then into triangular pieces (like a pie). Cut cylindrical cheeses into half-slices. Long flat cheese into slices.
It is important to have different cheese knives to avoid mixing flavors. When this is not possible, simply clean the knife every time you change cheese. It is better to start building a composition with a product that is absolutely necessary. It can be some kind of cheese or a jar of confiture. Sweet and savory go very well with cheeses. A typical garnish consists of a mixture of nuts, raisins and dried fruits. An indispensable companion of cheeses is grapes. You can add cherries, plums, figs, dried dates and apricots. The pear is ideal with fresh or marbled cheeses. The taste of hard cheeses is especially revealed with raspberry jam.
If there is a goal to make the charcuterie board the main course of the festive table, it is served on separate dishes with assorted vegetables, olives, canapes and raw smoked sausage.
What kind of bread to serve with a cheese board?
Bread is needed – it balances the strong flavors of cheese. Always served on a separate dish or in a basket. The exception is crackers, which also play a decorative role. Fresh white bread is served for soft cheeses. Bread with coriander or cumin for saltier blue cheeses or old hard cheese.
What to drink with cheese?
The cheese board is naturally accompanied by an adequate drink. There is a rule – the harder the cheese, the darker the drink. Soft and fresh cheeses are served with cider or dry white wine. Semi-hard and blue cheeses go well with semi-sweet or fruity rosé wines, as well as light beers. Hard cheese is perfect in the company of any red wine or porter. It can also be used with stronger drinks, such as cognac or whiskey.