Creating a Fantastic Cheese Board

June 04, 2016 3 min read

Creating a Fantastic Cheese Board

Creating a Fantastic Cheese Board

For cheese novices, creating a fantastic cheese board can be intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. A well-crafted cheese board is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Not only are cheese boards full of delicious cheese (and other treats), they can also be beautiful.

Creating a fantastic cheese board must hit 4 of the 5 senses- taste, smell, sight and touch. A cheese board that is thoughtfully put together includes different kinds cheeses (more about this below), plus many different accouterments.

And let's not forget about the surface you are using to build your cheese board. We are partial to custom cutting boards with names, initials, nicknames, an address or other sayings cut out:)

Experiment with your cheese board

The first rule of thumb is to include different colors and textures on and around your cheese board. This goes for whether you are planning a large gathering or a cheese and crackers spread for 2.

The Wine Source in Baltimore is one of our favorite spots to buy cheese andwine, and its cheesemonger, Adam Engle, is one of the best in the business when it comes to putting together a cheese board. Seek out your local cheesemonger for the best cheese selection in your area.

When selecting cheeses, he suggests keeping an open mind. If you try a wide variety of cheeses, you’re bound to discover new things, he told us.

variety of Cheeses for your cheeseboard

How to select the best cheeses for your cheese board

Once you know what you like, there are a bunch of ways to approach which cheeses will end up on your board. Here are five things to consider when choosing which cheeses to include on your personalized cheese board:

  • Region:Where a cheese is made influences how it tastes (just like where a wine is made does). Stick with one region for your personalized cheese board, or deliberately go global.
  • Milk:Sheep, goat, cow – they’re all good. As with region, you can feature the cheeses of just one animal or several types will work also together on a personalized cheese board.
  • Pungency:When you’re serving, it makes sense to organize and eat the cheeses in terms of pungency. Eat milder cheeses first and save the strong stuff for the end. Otherwise, the stronger cheese will overpower your taste buds.
  • Texture:Flavor should drive cheese selection. Pick cheeses that taste good to you! But also consider texture on a personalized cheese board. The most interesting personalized cheese board will include a variety of textures, from creamy to crumbly to hard.
  • Color:Blue cheese to some is delicious but it also has an extra added benefit: It’s pretty. A personalized cheese board that’s filled with white and yellow cheeses is nice, but a personalized cheese board that includes a few pops of color is even better.

Finally, Think Beyond Cheese

Yes, it’s called a cheese board. But that doesn’t mean the board should be filled with cheese and only cheese. Cured meats are a fabulous addition to a board and pair well with most cheeses.

Here’s something else to consider when assembling your personalized cheese board: Cheese is, by its nature, rich and fatty. That’s why we love it. But tastes and textures are elevated when you add their opposites. So in addition to fatty cheeses and meats, add something a little lighter to give variety to your cheese board.

Grapes, fruit purees, apple slices, olives – these all act as great foils for cheese. As an extra bonus, they add a little splash of color for a visual appeal. If your cheese board consists of all the food groups: protein, fruit, and veggies than it's a meal!

Take the personalized cheese boardin the photo above, for example. A handful of nuts, olives, a few meats and a selection of three cheeses that are diverse in every way.

Cheese board for 2

We have been known to put together a cheese board for dinner like the one above. No need to heat up the oven, very little in the way of dishes to clean, quick, delicious and pairs well with wine. What more could a girl ask for?

Cheese tastes best when not right out of the refrigerator so while you're deciding what you want to include, let your cheeses sit on the counter so they are closer to room temperature when you start to dig in.

Let these pictures and others you find on Instagram or Pinterest be your inspiration. Have fun putting together your next cheese board and make it fantastic!

Kim Strassner
Kim Strassner


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