How To Make A Cheeseboard: Ideas And Accompaniments
Listening to Ed Gamble’s episode of Desert Island Dishes has us thinking long and hard about all things cheese. Cheese boards, charcuterie boards, making them at home, what goes well with them, how best to serve, how to make them look great. Whilst Ed describes building a cheese board with an analogy of choosing the pitch formation of a football team, we think we could have some easier steps for this.
A well-curated cheese board can make any gathering a total feast that everyone will remember for a long time. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, celebrating a special occasion, or just indulging in a cosy night in, making a perfect cheese board is easier than you may think and will impress your guests with no cooking time required.
Selecting the Cheese
The key part of any cheese board is, of course, the cheese. To create a perfect cheese board, aim for a wide variety that have different flavours, textures or use different milks. This way, the board will have good diversity and also something to please all guests! Here are some recommendations:
Soft Cheese: Consider including brie or camembert. These cheeses can be a bit funky but overall are rather mild with their smooth, squidgy texture.
Hard Cheese: Add some aged cheddar, Gouda, or Manchego for a contrasting texture and different flavour.
Blue Cheese: A pungent blue cheese like Roquefort or Stilton.
Goat’s Cheese: Goat’s cheese may be controversial but it provides a varied flavour on the board.
Complement with Accompaniments
The cheese is the main event, but what surrounds it is equally important. Odysea, the Greek fine food company, have just launched a collaboration with Kew Gardens, featuring a whole range of condiments, honeys, sauces, olives and more. Profits from the sale of the Odysea x Kew range support The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew in its mission to protect biodiversity loss, ensuring nature is valued by all.
Fresh and Dried Fruits: Grapes, figs, apples, pears, and dried apricots offer sweetness to balance out the salty cheese. Try Odysea x Kew Garden’s Wild Fig Compote for a sweet and delicious option.
Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, or pecans provide a delightful crunch and a nutty undertone.
Crackers and Bread: Include a range of crackers and bread, need we say more?
Honey or Jam: A drizzle of honey or a spoon of jam is a match made in heaven. Have you tried Odysea x Kew Gardens Limited Edition Orange Blossom Honey?
Olives: Green and black olives bring a punchy salty element to the board. If you love olives, try Odysea x Kew Gardens Conservolia Pitted Olives. For something slightly different but with same flavour profile, might we suggest Odysea x Kew Garden’s Green Olive Tapenade?
Serve at the Right Temperature
For the best food experience, remember to bring some cheeses to room temperature before serving. This is especially important with soft cheeses. They should come out of the fridge 30-60 minutes before serving. Hard cheeses like cheddar are best with a shorter time around of the fridge, around 10 minutes.
Creating the perfect cheese board at home is a culinary affair that can be as simple or as extravagant as you desire. By selecting an array of cheeses, pairing them with delicious accompaniments, and making it look beautiful, you can turn any occasion into a gourmet experience that will leave your guests wanting more and will leave you full of cheese and very smug indeed.
Where to buy if you’re in a pinch
If you do find yourself short of time or short of inspiration (although after this post, we don’t know how you could be), here is a quick round up of our favourite cheese collections and where to buy:
Best Value: La Fromagerie French Classics Board (£39)
Best Selection: Paxton & Whitfield The Heritage Cheeseboard Selection (£50)
Best Luxury: Fortnum & Mason Celebration Cheese Selection (£100)