A truly stylish and delicious way to take your entertaining to the next level is the cheese board. Whether you use a plate, a wooden cutting board or a piece of slate, serving cheese is the smart host’s best party secret. Why? Because picking, pairing and presenting cheeses for your cheese board is simpler than you might think. Just follow these easy tips and suggestions.
Selecting Your Cheeses
Contrast: The main purpose of a good cheese board is to give your guests as wide a range of experience as possible. Look for cheeses of contrasting texture — soft across from firm, creamy across from crumbly. Create a palette of contrasting flavours as well — sweet to pungent, sharp to mellow.
- People eat with their eyes as well as their mouths — use a rustic chopping board or slab of natural stone for an appealing, dramatic presentation.
- Be sure to let your cheeses sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before serving. This brings out those lovely nuances of flavour and aroma.
- Give your cheeses room to settle and breathe—you don’t want to crowd them on the dish.
- Just as with the cheeses, a range of textures in your pairing choices creates a feeling of diversity on your cheese board. Fresh baguette medallions, crunchy water crackers and crostinis are favourites.
- Jam-style fruit spreads, olives, nuts, veggies marinated in balsamic vinegar, slices of tart apple or sweet pear, chutney and honey all make wonderful pairings.
Be Choosy: If you’re on a budget, opt for one or two fantastic cheeses as opposed to four or five so-so options.
Amount: Two ounces of cheese per person is a good rule of thumb.
Breads, Spreads and More
Our favourite picks:
Kefalos Vintage Gouda
Kefalos Vintage Cheddar
Simonsberg Creamy Blue
Simonsberg Traditional Camembert
Fairview White Rock & Cranberries
Fairview Chevin Black Pepper & Paprika
Fairview Grand Brie