How To Create The Perfect Cheese Board
Spring is one of our favourite seasons for entertaining family and friends – the weather is warmer, and you get to dust off the outdoor furniture and dine alfresco. When you’re planning your food and drinks line-up for your next spring soirée, it’s hard to look past the cheese and charcuterie board.
We’ve enlisted the help of Bundaberg Brewed Drinks Entertaining Expert, Sarah McLellan to show us how to serve up a perfectly curated cheese board that is as good looking as it is delicious in just four simple steps.
1. Use The Basic Four Cheese Groups as Your Guide
When arranging a cheese platter, the key to success is presenting a variety of textures, and a balance of flavours and colours.
When it comes to cheese and their basic groups, you should aim to have at least one item from each category. Aged with cheeses like Comte, aged Cheddar and Smoked Goudas. Soft, which includes Brie, Mozzarella, Burrata and Chevre. Then you can think about Firm cheeses like Manchego, Pecorino and Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a more pungent from the Blue category, like a Stilton or Gorgonzola.
2. Add Accoutrements To Complement The Cheese
Now you’ve chosen your base cheeses, it’s time to have a little fun with delicious additions to complement them. Spread out an assortment of crackers (some gluten-free), flatbreads and toasted baguette, then choose some of your favourite olives, marinated vegetables and even dried fruits for a plethora of great flavours.
Add a small bunch of grapes and some homemade or store-bought chutneys or jams. The pairing of salty Manchego with a fiery chili sauce, or aged Cheddar with a Ginger Beer & Rhubarb Chutney are other great additions to your board.
See Recipe: Ginger Beer & Rhubarb Chutney
3. Dress To Impress (Your Board That Is)!
Find yourself a large wooden tray, or even a wooden chopping block will work as the perfect canvas for your cheese and charcuterie board. Add some smaller bowls to keep oil-marinated olives or vegetables separated.
Got a large group to feed for your party? A long table covered in butcher’s paper is a visually impressive way to plate up your fromage masterpiece. This kind of help-yourself spread is a stellar way to entertain but lets you have time to catch up with your guests too!
4. Pair The Perfect Accompanying Drink
You’ve checked off your first three steps when it comes to preparing your swoon-worthy spread. But now’s the time to think about pairing the perfect sips. Adding some bubbles like a DIY Mimosa bar is a great match for a variety of flavours. Guests can add mixers like Bundaberg Blood Orange, Guava or Passionfruit to dry sparkling wine for a refreshing cocktail.
Sarah McLellan is the Bundaberg Brewed Drinks Entertaining Expert and an Aussie food and travel writer. Currently based in New York, you can find her scoping out the best restaurants in cities across the U.S., scouring back alleys for midnight noodles and the best street food finds overseas, creating delicious dishes in her home kitchen and shaking up a cocktail or two with friends.