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Cheeseboard 101

We talk A LOT about cheese, charcuterie, and accompaniments on this site, but have yet to tell you how to assemble the perfect cheeseboard.


Cheese and charcuterie boards are the perfect entertaining option, no matter the occasion or season. They're not only aesthetically pleasing, but the wide variety of flavors and textures is satisfying to the taste buds. A well-assembled array of cheese, cured meats, and accompaniments is sure to impress and spark conversation among your guests. Pair it with wine and cocktails and you've just thrown the party that people will be talking about for years!


Even better, there's no cooking involved. Cheeseboards allow for so much creativity and customization to fit your guests' preferences and tastes. With the wide range of products on the market, selecting goodies for your cheeseboard can be a daunting task, which is why we've created this guide (with product suggestions) to make your cheeseboard assembly a breeze!


Cheese: The Star of the Show


You can't have a cheeseboard without cheese!! While selecting cheeses for your board, try to include a variety of cheese types with different ages, flavors, textures and milks. It is extremely important that you take your cheese out of the fridge at least 45 minutes prior to serving. More flavor is released when cheese is enjoyed at room-temperature. Try these flavorful cheeses for your board:



In my opinion, the best cheese boards have fresh goat cheese. Chevre brings a light element to the board and can act as a palate cleanser between bites of more funky or sharp cheeses. LaClare farms has a large variety of uniquely flavored goat cheeses. I like the Fig & Honey flavor for its balance of sweet and rich flavors.






Point Reyes Bay Blue is a "beginners blue". According to the Point Reyes Cheese website, "It is known for its mellow flavor and sweet, salted caramel finish." This natural-rinded blue cheese has just enough bite without overpowering everything else on the board.






Brie is another must-have on a cheeseboard. "Gooey, creamy, double crème French Brie, Brie d'Amir is a handsome addition to any cheese plate. Crafted in France from pure, pasteurized cow's milk with 60% milk fat. Each slice of Brie d'Amir boasts a soft, creamy texture that is luxuriously fresh with a mild, vegetal and milky flavor. The scent is light with notes of grass and savory mushrooms."


Brie d'Amir is best with pomegranates, fresh figs, salted accompaniments and fruit jams. Consider adding these to your board with brie.



Charcuterie


Cured meats add savory, salty flavor as well as color to your board.




Bring some spice to your cheeseboard! This sizzling salami is made with Calabrian Chiles and local wine. If this flavor doesn't tickle your fancy, Elevation has plenty of uniquely-flavored artisan salami. Slice thinly before placing on your board.


According to their website, "Elevation has become known for its creative flavors that are changing the way you think about salami." Isn't that the truth!






Made with just two ingredients: heritage breed Berkshire pork and California sea salt. "Launched in 2005 and still [La Quercia's] flagship prosciutto, it's lauded for a distinct richness and depth of flavor." Prosciutto Americano has a Silky, rich, deep, and sweet flavor profile and is aged for 10-12 months. This prosciutto is cut super thin, making it perfect for cheese boards and in your favorite recipes.




Accompaniments


Choosing accompaniments is the best place to get creative! Options include crackers, bread, nuts, mustard, pickles, olives, fresh and dried fruit, fruit jams... The options are truly endless, but here are some of our favorites.



34 Degrees original crisps
Photo by 34 Degrees Crisps via their website.

The crisps you can't resist! These light and airy crackers won't over power your cheese. These neutral crisps pair with almost anything, from fresh goat cheese to the sharpest aged cheddars. 34 Degrees has gluten-free crisps as well.


"Made with only a handful of premium quality, simple ingredients, the company offers a line of versatile Entertaining Crisps in nine flavors, four sweet snackable Sweet Crisps flavors and three bold new Snaps snacking flavors including Sea Salt, Everything and Umami."






Most people know that Fig Spread is the ultimate cheese board accompaniment. Divina Chili Fig spread is a spin on the classic. "Delightfully sweet with a sinfully spicy finish, this spread really knows how to make a savory bite come alive with flavor. Serve with your favorite cheese (it pairs with everything)".


Other than putting on your cheeseboard, this sweet and spicy sauce is delicious on roasted meats and veggies.




If you follow any of the thousands of "cheeseboard influencers" on social media, you know about these. Girl Meets Dirt's award-winning preserves are made by "[pairing] single varietal fruit, many from trees that have been producing for over a century, with fair trade organic cane sugar, organic lemon, and classically prepare it by hand." With flavors like Rhubarb Lavender, Pear Balsamic, and Salted Apple Caramel, couldn't just pick one to feature here.

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