More than just a meat and cheese board, cheese and charcuterie boards are an art form that entails much more than slapping some cheeses and crackers on a plate and serving it to guests.
Let me begin by addressing a frequently asked question: what exactly is a charcuterie board? It’s the art of putting together meats and cheeses with fruit, nuts, and crackers for simple and quick hors d’oeuvres.
More than just a meat and cheese board, cheese and charcuterie boards are an art form that entails much more than slapping some cheeses and crackers on a plate and serving it to guests. While any reasonable person will enjoy whatever cheese and crackers you serve, I’ll help you wow your guests with cheese board ideas and more.
Trying to choose just a few of my favorite cheeses is like trying to choose just one favorite television show; there are so many to choose from. When it comes to television, I enjoy comedies at times and crime shows or dramas at other times. The same is true of cheeses; sometimes I want firm Parmesan, and other times I want super creamy Brie.
At your next gathering, use my tips to wow your guests with an epic cheese and charcuterie plate. Pre-order my cookbook, Share + Savor, for more ideas, which includes a variety of appetizer and entertaining boards!
Cheese curds or scrapers are made from soft or mature milk, and are a member of the fungi family. Although they resemble the appearance of an ordinary piece of best cheese, they are actually made from unpasteurized milk – the same way as the “real” cheese.
That is, the curds are pressed into shape and salting and then aged by curing/ curing process to the standardurity of the ‘real thing’. In other words, the next time you go to your supermarket, buy a little of this and a little of that – all produced from as natural a food as possible.
It’s difficult for me to choose just one cheese because there are so many to choose from. When putting together a cheese plate, my first rule is to include a variety of cheese styles. Make a cheese platter with a mix of aged, firm, soft, crumbly, and creamy cheeses.
If you’re serving hard cheeses, slice them up ahead of time to make eating easier for your guests. Offer a variety of milk types as well; cow, goat, and sheep milk all have distinct flavors and textures. That being said, don’t go overboard; at the very least, serve a cheese that everyone is familiar with.
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Tips To Assemble Your Cheese and Charcuterie Board
- For aesthetic purposes I love to plate things on rustic wood cheese boards with pretty silver cheese spreaders. Another good choice is slate because you can write the names of the cheeses in chalk.
- You can typically allot 2 ounces of cheese and charcuterie per person when deciding how much to buy.
- Cheese is best served at room temperature. Remove cheeses from the fridge about a half hour before serving.
- Whole Foods has a great cheese selection and deli counter. Trader Joe’s sells great cheeses on a budget and already packaged meat selections.
- Serve a knife for each cheese so flavors don’t mingle
How much cheese and charcuterie should I allot per person? Plan on 2 ounces of each cheese and charcuterie per person when served as an appetizer. Breads, crackers, chips, crisps – whatever you want to call them, they’re all ways to get cheese into your mouth. I prefer to present one or two options for people to choose from.