February 26, 2013

How to make the perfect cheeseboard.

For as long as I can remember I have had an immense love of cheese. Everyone that knows me, knows that the key to my heart is with cheese. In fact, on numerous birthdays friends and family have surprised me with cakes made entirely out of cheese (no, not a cheesecake but a cake of cheese.) I have made countless cheeseboards over the years to serve at dinner parties and I thought it might be fun to share some tips with you today on how to make the perfect cheeseboard:

First of all, you should chose a variety of different types of cheese. A well-balanced cheeseboard has one of each of the following categories: fresh, soft, semi-soft, hard, and blue. There are many examples of each type of cheese, but here are a few basics to get you started:

Fresh: feta, ricotta, mozzarella, mascarpone
Soft: brie, camembert, capricorn goat
Semi-soft: edam, havarti, taleggio, gouda
Hard: manchego, emmental, grana padano parmesan, aged cheddar
Blue: stilton, roquefort, gorgonzola, cambozola

Once you have decided on the cheeses you would like to serve, your next decision is the accompaniments. Here are a few examples of delicious things you can pair your cheeses with:

Fresh fruits: blackberries, strawberries, grapes, green apples, figs (if they are in season)
Dried fruits and nuts: apricots, cranberries, figs, various mixed nuts
Spreads: chutney, jam, mustard, olive oil & balsamic vinegar
And of course plenty of crackers and crusty french baguette.
(You can also add some cured meats to the plate as well, such as prosciutto and capicollo)

Next, take time to arrange the cheeses in a pleasing way and serve them on your favorite wooden platter or slate board. If you don't have either of those, you could also use a wood or plastic cutting board. Also, don't forget to include a knife or two for guests to help themselves.

*Tip: Take the cheeses out of the refrigerator an hour before you serve them so that they become room temperature. By doing this you are maximizing the flavor potential of the cheeses.*

For my cheeseboard I used: feta (fresh), soeur angele which is a brie made of both cow's and goat's milk (soft), douanier (semi-soft), 4 year aged cheddar (hard), and gorgonzola (blue). For the accompaniments I used fresh figs, dried apricots, green grapes and mixed nuts (and plenty of baguette of course!)

Have fun trying new cheeses and experimenting with different flavor combinations! I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!  XO, Stef

All information taken from the book World Cheese Book by Juliet Harbutt.


  1. I am a supreme lover of all things cheese and I love when people put out cheese boards! I recently went to a wedding where I seriously received the most practical wedding favor ever...a serving platter. I am so happy it is big enough to make a cheese board like this. =) Thanks for the inspiration and I'm so happy you choose to add brie...everything is better with brie! =)

    Ergo - Blog

  2. This looks amazing. I'm also in love with that wood block you have for the cheeseboard.

  3. Love this! I'm a cheese lover, but have never attempted serving a cheese board because they seemed intimidating. This is great info, and I'm totally inspired to serve one next time we have company! xo

  4. I love cheese! This cheeseboard is amazing. I want cheese now :)

    xx Susie

  5. Oh my goodness, you're killing me. We just got done with a three week cleanse, and I have yet to restock our cheese stash. Maybe as soon as the blizzard is over I'll make a run. And where did you find that gorgeous board?!?

  6. ooo we regualy get the cheese board out. Compulsary to have a glass of port too.

  7. it looks beautiful and delicious stef! i am a huge fan of brie :)

  8. Mmm, mmm, mmm! That looks almost too good to eat!
    I just recently learned that hard cheeses don't even need to be refrigerated, as long as you keep them in a cool dark place. I guess it maximizes flavor, like you said. Thanks for the presentation tips - I always end up with mostly semi-soft and hard varieties, so this is a good lesson!

  9. Don't forget honey! I love adding a little honeycomb to cheeseboards for both looks and taste.
    xo, B | SanBriego.com

  10. Being half French, I have seen more than my fair share of cheese boards, but this one is fantastic. I love the presentation! & also, my favourite cheese is probably smoked cheddar -glorious!xx

  11. Really craving some cheese now.. Thanks! haha, great post.

    Charlie x


  12. Cheese plates are my fav. desserts. I love anything goat, or smoked. mmm.

  13. Oh my gosh this timing was perfect! I'm hosting my boyfriends birthday party this Saturday and honestly the only things I'm excited about is a) making the cake and b) making my very own official first cheese plate! I decided to keep it simple with this one so the cheeses I chose were pesto cheese (a new one a TJ's), some authentic brie, Gouda, and some gross bleu cheese the boy picked out (it is his party after all), with grapes and homemade bagette on the side. Thanks for the post <3

    1. Mmm... that sounds delicious! Excellent choices! I'm sure it will be a hit at your party! ;)

  14. I`m such a sucker for cheese and glad to hear you too!You should visit my country Switzerland,we just have tons of different,delicious cheese to taste!
    I for myself never made a cheeseboard,but we eat it here a lot,mostly with cooked potatoes!


  15. What a fun post! Now I know exactly what items to add to my Friday shopping list :)

  16. Sounds delicious! I can't wait to try all these cheeses and your two recipes for pecans and figs.

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