Assembling the Perfect Cheese Board

A good cheese board fixes everything.  I mean who can be in a bad mood when they have a variety of cheeses in front of them?

A good cheese board has the following:

  • At least one hard or sharp cheese
  • At least one soft cheese
  • Nuts
  • Crackers or bread
  • Fruit 
  • Charcuterie
  • Condiments

My favorite hard or sharp cheeses that are easily found:

  • Manchego
    • A sharp and buttery cheese from Spain.
  • Gouda
    • A mild cheese from the Netherlands. 
  • Aged White Cheddar
    • Kerrygold makes an excellent sharp aged white cheddar.
  • Comté
    • A delicious nutty cheese from France.

My favorite soft cheeses that are easily found:

  • Goat Cheese (chèvre)
    • a creamy and tangy cheese that takes on flavor well. Try with a drizzle of honey or olive oil with fresh herbs.
  • Brie or Camembert
    • A creamy French cheese that is always a crowd favorite.   Camembert has a little bit more of a distinct flavor.
  • Blue Cheese
    • Gorgonzola or Roquefort are my favorite.

Condiments & Fruit:

  • I usually pair a whole grain Dijon mustard with a sharp cheddar or Gouda.
  • With Brie, a nice jam or honey is a nice compliment. Figs, apples, or grapes pair nicely with brie and Camembert.  You also can’t go wrong with serving whatever is in peak season. 
  • Dried Fruit is also a great option. Trader Joe’s has dried orange slices that are a fun twist on any cheese tray! 

Make it special! Here are some ideas:

  • Baked truffle goat cheese
    • Put the goat cheese in an oven safe dish and drizzle with truffle oil and top with fresh oregano or thyme. Bake at 350 for about 5-7 minutes. 
  • Baked Brie
    • Serve with a jam or chutney.  I especially love making baked brie in the fall.
  • Bruschetta
    • Cut grape or cherry tomatoes in half. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar.  Add 1 minced garlic clove, salt, and pepper. Serve with toasted bread.

Cheese Tray for Two:

  • Go raid the $3 cheese baskets at Whole Foods. They take popular cheeses and cut them into the perfect size for two people.  This is a great way to try new cheeses too!

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Bon Appétit!

Tracy