Don't you just love a well-styled cheese board? It's the easiest appetizer I could ever bring to a party and there's something about the layers and varieties of food that always make cheese boards feel opulent.
Building a successful cheese board takes a little critical thinking while you're purchasing your accouterments at the grocery store. You should already know the size of your board (so you know how much food to buy) and the temperament of your crowd (aka picky eaters you will have to accommodate...).
Here are the basic rules for building a better cheese board:
1) Buy many different types of cheese. You should have at least one goat's milk, one sheep's milk, and one cow's milk cheese.
2) Cut the hard cheeses in slices or wedges (follow the shape of the cheese) and add spreaders to the soft cheeses. Spread them around the platter with space between and make sure to pile them high. Small piles looks better than large puddles of cheese.
3) Surround the cheeses with fresh and dried fruits. Fresh grapes and berries add a colorful pop and luscious taste/texture. Dried fruits such as cranberries and apricots add a lovely burst of chewy flavor to balance the tang of the cheese. Again, tall piles please. Make it look generous.
4) To Meat or Not to Meat: This is personal preference. I believe that meat only adds to the flavors and textures you are building on your board, but if it will overcrowd your platter or if there aren't a lot of meat eaters in your crowd, feel free to skip the salami.
5) Once your ingredients are piled high and you've added just the right amounts of everything to create a full (not crowded) cheese board, check your angles. Does it look good from all perspectives? Are there bare spots that need filling? Did you add a little too much Gouda to one end? Make sure it is pleasing to the eye, regardless of which angle your guests approach it from.
It's time to serve! Put your cheese board on the counter with pride and watch everyone ooh and ah over your fabulous skills.
I hope you enjoyed this brief foray into cheese styling. What else would you like to learn? Leave us a comment below!