Offering curated delicacies to your guests is a part of effortless entertaining but serving it beautifully takes it a step ahead making it a conversation starter. And the best part, it takes only 15 minutes of your time. You don’t have to go overboard with your cooking, just with the serving of it. And if you serve it on the right cheese tray, half your job is done.
Yes, we are talking about cheese board, where you can serve beautiful curated cheese, meat, dried fruits, crackers and more to get the party started. Picking the right cheese board can make a huge difference as it pleases not only the mouth but also the eyes.
A good host knows the importance of right serving dishes and to help you serve right let’s not waste any time and get straight down to business. Although there are several options when deciding on a cheese board, we will talk about only those that can match up to the elegance of a fine cheese selection.
Wooden Cheese Boards
The most common choice for a cheese board, wooden boards are aesthetically appealing, economical and easy-to-clean. It can be anything from a cutting board to a sectioned wood board. The real difference that matters is the character of the wood. Just imagine the difference of pleasure your guests might get when enjoying the beautiful selection of cheese you display on a regular cutting board and then on a maple wood cheese board. You can envision the difference.
While choosing a wooden cutting board you need to pick a species of wood that does not absorb flavors easily. Cheese by nature is fat and oil-rich that goes rancid when the fat oxidizes. Rancid fats create a typical smell that is sharp and unpleasant. Most softwood including fir, cedar, pine, larch, cypress and oak should be avoided. A non-porous species including olive wood, birch, cherry, teak are a good option for cheese boards, but the best one hands down are maple. The most popular wood choice for a cutting board, the most prized is hard rock maple, which is also known as sugar maple. Often chosen for its neutral look, the color is light, the grain subtle, coordinating with nearly any kitchen.
The wooden boards are knife-friendly meaning the cuts don’t go as deep, is easy to maintain and clean and are also available in the shape of your state commonly called as the state-shaped cutting board.
Made from marble, granite or other natural stones, stone boards make for beautiful cheese trays in both form and function. Stone boards offer a beautiful and cool surface providing the best temperature zone for your cheese platter, dough and tempering chocolate making it a favorite among pastry chefs and candy makers.
If you are looking for a cheese board for an outdoor event then you can go with marble, granite or other stone board. But before you buy a stone board you should know that stone board and knives don’t go together but if you plan to cut your cheese with a ceramic knife than you wouldn’t need to worry about dulling your set of knives. Also, there’s this issue of maintenance as marble and some types of granite are porous and if not taken care properly your cheese might emit foul odor.
A relatively new material to take the kitchen world by storm, slate has become a popular material for serving dishes and cheese boards. Non-porous, does not absorb flavors, is less reactive and less prone to discoloration.
Slate though comes with a lot of positive attributes has its issues also. It has a tendency to flake and chip and also scratches easily making the scuffs and marks easily visible.
Non-porous, low maintenance, clean presentation, impervious to cuts and scratches make a glass board a good choice for a cheese board, but it has the tendency to be loud when cutting with a knife creating that irritating screeching knife on glass sound disturbing the overall pleasant experience.
Care And Maintenance Of Your Cheese Board
Whether you decide to choose a maple wooden board, state-shaped cutting board, stone board, slate board or a glass board it all comes down to proper cleaning, care and maintenance.
- After every use clean your board with warm water and mild soap and wipe it with a soft cloth.
- Wooden boards need to be oiled and waxed while stone boards should be sealed each month.
- If the cheese board starts smelling then you need to disinfect and sanitize your board.
THROWING A CHEESE PARTY? HERE’S HOW TO PREPARE A PERFECT CHEESE BOARD
Fun, versatile and delicious, cheese boards are a perfect appetizer for holidays, ladies night and when entertaining guests. From different types of cheese, snacks, crackers and cured meats, the best cheese boards leave nothing behind.
Tips For Making The Best Cheese Board:
Eating is a sensory experience and a variety of textures can make any cheese board interesting.
- Consider ingredients with various textures
- Label cheese so everyone knows what they’re eating
- Bring cheeses to room temperature before serving
- Don’t forget the knives, spoons, toothpicks
How To Assemble A Cheese Board:
Start with the board of your choice. Typically cheese is assembled on a slate or wooden cheese tray, which may be square, rectangular, round or state-shaped.
- Select the cheese. Try to include a variety of flavors and textures by selecting cheeses from different families- Aged Cheddar, Gruyere, Gouda, Brie, Camembert, Goat, Manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Edam, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Stilton.
- Add some charcuterie aka cured meats- Prosciutto, salami, soppressata, chorizo or mortadella.
- Add some savory- olives, pickles, roasted peppers, artichokes, tapenades, almonds, cashews, or spicy mustard.
- Add some sweet- seasonal and dried fruits, candied nuts, preserves, honey, chutney, or chocolate.
- Offer a variety of bread- sliced baguette, bread-sticks and a variety of crackers.
- Finish it off with some garnishes- edible flowers, fresh herbs or additional fruits.
Everyone likes their cheese a little different- savory, sweet and a combination of both. The best cheese boards have something for everyone. So go on, get a beautiful cheese board, assemble it delicately and get the party started.