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How to Assemble a Cheese Board

HG Entertains

How to Assemble a Cheese Board

The Big Cheese

Dinner, dessert, appetizer, or snack, a cheese board is the perfect way to keep yourself and others full and entertained. Apart from the basics, what you serve and how you present is up to you. It's a great way to incorporate your touch and  preference in a board that's sure to never disappoint. Practice makes perfect, and with a few go-arounds, you may end up with a new moniker your next large or intimate gathering: le grand fromage.

Start with the most important thing: good cheese

The best way to learn about cheese is by finding the best cheesemonger near you. Take time to sample cheeses and learn about their provenance and particularities. The best boards leave no cheese behind, so be sure to include a variety of flavours and textures. Work your way from soft cheeses such as Brie, medium-firms like a Spanish Manchego, aged varieties like Pecorino or a hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano and blues like Roquefort or Stilton.

Make sure your board is big enough for all your goodies

Once you start adding the extras, you'll quickly realize the importance of a board large enough for all the cheese enhancers. Make sure you have room for, and include, any or all of the following: charcuterie, mustard, olives, fresh fruit, nuts, cornichons, dehydrated fruit, vegetables, jams, marmalades, crackers, breadsticks and bread. Tip: If you haven't tried Marcona almonds with your cheese yet, we suggest you do.

It's not just an app

You needn't relegate your cheese board to pre-dinner app status. Let it take centre stage as the main course for a light lunch or supper, accompanied by salad and bread, or consider substituting it for a traditional dessert at the end of your meal.

Our Tips

  • If you haven't paired Marcona almonds with your cheese, we suggest you do. Imported from Spain, this caviar of almonds has a texture closer to a Macadamia nut and a shape that's rounder than the more common California almond.

  • When pairing wine with cheese, the general rule of thumb is to opt for a lighter variety that has enough acid to cut through the fat of the cheese. If you want to get specific with your pairings, this Wine Folly pairing guide will come in handy.

  • The freshness of fruit is a terrific contrast to the density of cheese. If you're not serving it straight away, steer clear of sliced pear or apple as they'll brown and spoil the look and experience of your cheese board.

  • Raw vs. processed honey is like chalk and cheese. Honey and cheese pair beautifully because honey's sweetness mellows out stronger cheese flavours such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, sharp cheddar and other aged cheeses. Make sure you use raw honey; not only does it taste better, it retains most of the naturally beneficial nutrients and antioxidants that is stripped in processed honey.

HG Entertains Essentials