How to Pick the Right Cheeses for the Best Holiday Cheeseboard
The holiday season is approaching and it’s never too early to start planning for get-togethers with family and friends. One of the most popular destinations at any party is the cheeseboard! Here are a few cheeseboard tips and tricks that will have your guests raving about your board building skills.
We recommend a variety of 3 – 5 cheeses on a board, at most. Any more than that can get overwhelming. You want to make sure you have some young cheeses and some aged cheeses. That will give you a variety of textures and flavors and will allow your guests to explore pairings with the accompaniments on the board. There are 3 Saxon cheeses that are the perfect foundation for any cheeseboard. Snowfields Butterkase-style cheese is a young, buttery cheese that is mild enough for even the pickiest palate. Big Ed’s Smokehaus Gouda is aged a bit more than Snowfields and lends a delicious savory flavor to the board. Lastly, Saxony Alpine-style cheese adds a nice aged flavor and texture. (If you want a soft, spreadable cheese, we like any of the chevre cheeses from LaClare Family Creamery. They add a luscious texture and a bit of tangy flavor.)
Be sure and take your cheeses out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before your guests arrive. Cheese is best sampled at room temperature for optimum flavor and texture. When you put the cheese on the board, cut off just a few pieces. This will allow your guests to cut off pieces as the night goes on.
Here’s where you can get really creative. As a rule of thumb, you want to have a variety of textures and flavors on your cheeseboard. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Crunchy: Crackers, Toasted Baguette Slices, Nuts
- Chewy: Dried Fruit, Jerky
- Sweet: Honey, Jams, Chocolates, Fresh Fruit
- Savory: Artichoke Hearts, Charcuterie (prosciutto, salami), Olives
- Spicy: Spicy Sausage, Peppers (raw or roasted)
Using a beautiful board helps set the expectations of your guests. That being said, you don’t have to break the bank when purchasing one. We have found a beautiful selection at very reasonable prices at stores like TJ Maxx.
Make sure you have a cheese knife for each cheese on the board. In addition, have a small spoon or knife for your jam, honey or other spreadable items.
Toothpicks are an easy way for your guests to get the items from the cheeseboard to their plate. A quick search on Amazon will reveal a huge selection of party perfect picks
A cheeseboard is a way you can showcase your hospitality without too much work. Regardless of what you put together your guests will be appreciative. Unexpected accompaniments and pairings are conversation starters. It’s a great way to discover new flavors and favorites.