We all know and love a good piece of cheese with our main course, together with a crusty loaf of bread and slab of butter, or perhaps combined with strawberry and wine for dessert.
Cheese boards can easily impress your guests and create great looking food that looks and tastes delicious, but without a lot of effort. Learn what types of cheeses to buy, presentation ideas, quantities and more tips in this article!
Gathering friends or family at the table for a dinner or lunch around a cheese board is for many the pinnacle of happiness. And it is not difficult to understand why. Cheese is a food, a delicacy that offers a world of exciting flavors.
Although it may seem simple – many would say that it simply consists of buying cheese and placing it on a piece of wood -, as is almost always the case in the kitchen, there are some tricks to prepare an original, delicate and successful cheese board. We tell you everything you need to know to assemble a cheese board: types of cheese, quantities per person, complements such as fruit or jam, decoration, tools and utensils to use, along with other recommendations.
Selecting cheese for the charcuteri or cheese board
In order to provide your guests with a beautiful cheese board, you’ll need to know how many varieties to use first and foremost? We recommend at least four, although the average is usually between five and eight different ones, which already offer a good range to experiment with. More than eleven or twelve can be excessive and exhausting. Again, we must take into account the occasion and the rest of the menu, and remember that not all diners may want to try all types.
We can base the selection on our personal taste or take advantage of the occasion to discover new experiences. We could make a table of national cheeses, for example choosing products with DO, although an international range gives rise to more interesting games. And speaking of international, we had some help from our friends at Osteposten.dk to help make this article come to life. They run a so called Ostebutik that features both national and international cheese, and have lend their expertise to use so we could make this article as interesting as possible!
Different types for different flavors
Most of us already know that cheese can have wildly different flavors and textures based on their origin and how they were produced. The type of animal milk also plays an important part. One of the advantages of cheese boards is precisely this game of balancing the many flavors, aromas and different textures, so we must value the characteristics of each cheese; we do not want a boring and repetitive board.
If you do not wish to study hundreds of individual types of cheese, you can refer to the table below for a quick general idea of how what makes a cheese unique. For an interesting cheese board, the more options below you can present your guests, the better:
What to know when selecting cheese
Choose types of cheese from different animals, such as goats, cows, buffaloes and even sheep. It might be necessary to label these if you have guests that are allergic to certain animal products. Cheese are by some considered as delikatesser, and before you buy the cheese, you should know if it is going to be used for cooking, or separately for a cheese platter with crackers or bread.
Also consider the texture of the cheese. For an interesting board it is ideal to have both soft and hard cheeses, and maybe even blue and spreadable ones as well.
Many people tend to forget you can get different types of rinds. For instance washed, moldy, pressed, or ones with added herbs and spices. All this makes for great diversity, and looks beautiful on the cheese board.
If you are still looking for more inspiration, consider presenting your guests with cheeses of different maturity levels, such as aged, semi-cured and other types. This will provide even more choice for everyone, and will surely be a hit!