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How To Serve The Perfect Cheese Board
Published on 06/04/2020
Fresh Fruit, Cheese & Biscuits

For a classy end to a dinner party, or a smooth accompaniment to a glass of wine with friends, the cheese board is a staple of British dining culture. But don’t risk leaving your guests cheesed off – read our best advice on how to serve the perfect cheese board. Discover what to put on your cheese board to complement your cheese, a review of the best cheeses to include, and serving suggestions. And of course, you can cheer up a cheese lover, by helping them create the perfect cheese board with our range of cheese hamper gifts.

Best Cheeses For A Cheese Board

It is of course the central ingredient to the perfect cheese board. Get these right, and your cheese board will be cleared within the hour. Get them wrong, and you could be covering it in cling film and sliding it back in the fridge as a constant reminder of your failed cheese challenge.

The main consideration when contemplating what to put on a cheese board, is featuring a variety of contrasting textures and flavours. Cheese can be grouped by four main categories – as a guide, try to include at least one cheese from each:

  • Aged: this refers to cheeses which have been cured in a cave or a cellar for more than six months and includes the likes of Cheddar, Gouda and Gruyere.
  • Soft: as this group title suggests, this includes soft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert.
  • Firm: firm textured cheese which hasn’t undergone the aging process, such as Emmental, Wensleydale and Edam.
  • Blue: these are quite distinctive, both in aroma, flavour and appearance. Blue cheese has a blue or grey vein running through it and includes Stilton, Roquefort and Gorgonzola.

However, it’s always worth bearing in mind how adventurous your guests are when it comes to food. Familiarity is an important inclusion to avoid the dreaded cling film mound in the fridge. Here’s how to make a cheese board that will be enjoyed by all.

A creamy yet strong cheddar is definitely one of the best cheeses for a cheese board, as it can bridge the gap between comforting familiarity and a daring new flavour exploration. Contrast the Cheddar’s firm texture and sour taste with a mild, smooth and creamy Brie before adding a delicious combination of sweet and sour with a Wensleydale featuring cranberries. Finally, a crumbly British favourite – Blue Stilton, will add more colour and a sharp hit of flavour, without the off putting appearance of some stronger blue cheeses.

How Much Cheese for The Perfect Cheese Board?

How much cheese you require will depend on the type of event you are hosting. If the cheese board is the main source of nourishment for your guests, a good guide would be to serve 1 lb of cheese, per every 3 guests. However if the cheese board is the close to a main meal or part of an extravagant buffet, we would recommend working on a ratio of 3 to 4 ounces per person.

Make Your Cheese Board Better, with Bread

Morecambe & Wise, Salt & Pepper, Bread & Cheese. Some things just go together! When it comes to selecting bread for your cheese board, there is almost as much choice to be made as with the cheese. Therefore, make your decisions based on similar criteria of flavour and texture of bread that will complement your cheese.

A sliced baguette or French stick is a great neutral choice as while the firmer exterior provides a good contrast to soft cheese, the soft and lighter centre provides a contrast to the firmer or more crumbly cheese. It’s a good idea to have white and wholemeal options on the cheese board to add colour, and provide flavour alternatives – the soft textures and sweeter notes of wensleydale and cranberries are paired well with the richer, more savoury tone of wholemeal or granary bread.

Another alternative is to offer bread sticks – these will maintain the flavour and texture contrast of bread and cheese, but as lighter accompaniments for a cheese board than the added starch of sliced bread. These are a great choice when the cheese board is an option rather than a centre piece to your dining.

Complement with Condiments and Vegetables

Sweet and sharp condiments such as pickled onions or gherkins are an obvious accompaniment for a cheese board, but you can also get creative. Cheese and apple is a familiar combination, so why not add a jar of apple sauce with your cheese board? It is smooth enough to spread onto a cracker canapé and the softness in comparison to a whole apple, is welcome contrast to firm or aged cheeses.

Strong flavours such as mature cheddar work well with spice and a fiery wholegrain mustard is a welcome cheese board idea. For milder cheese, a tangy red onion chutney will provide enough of a flavour contrast without overpowering the subtle tones of the cheese.

For added colour and crunch, prepare some vegetables. Our recommendations include roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts or aubergines for a Mediterranean twist.

Satisfy with Sweet and Salty snacks

The last consideration of what to put on a cheese board is snacks – extra morsels that can sit alongside your cheese, bread and condiments. The creamy base of cheese is cut through by salty and sweet flavours, and which takes prominence in your snacks will vary depending on what you have chosen as your cheese and condiments.

If your board is already laden with sweet treats such as chutneys and soft cheeses, then consider more salty snacks such as pistachios, olives and salted crisps. Conversely if your board has many sharp flavours such as aged and blue cheese, consider small and sweet snacks like grapes, dried currants or sliced figs.

Another savoury idea is to add some cured meats such as salami or prosciutto, but be careful not to detract attention from the cheese – which should be the primary feature of any cheese board.

The Perfect Cheese Board Delivered in A Hamper

Having answered the question of how to make a cheese board, for your convenience, you can find the ingredients for the perfect cheese board in our luxury hamper range. With a combination of cheeses, condiments, snacks and drinks all matched by their flavour and textures, give the gift of the perfect cheese board to friends and family throughout the year with our Cheese Hamper Gifts. Explore our cheese hamper range.

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