Step 1: Choose your cheese
Three to five different cheeses should do the trick. You can also assume 4 oz of cheese per person is sufficient! You can go in so many directions with your cheese choices. A few things to consider when selecting your fromage: What kind of cheese do you like? What animal would you like your cheese from? What’s in your glass?
Stop by our Cheese Counter to chat with Jess and Greg about selecting specific cheeses! They’ll help you build a unique board that realizes all of your cheese dreams.
Step 2: Choose Your Accoutrements
You can go in so many directions here, but you want to include a variety of textures, flavors, and colors. If you’re featuring 3-5 cheeses, plan to include:
- 1-2 loaves of quality bread (try a local sourdough, cranberry walnut loaf, or crusty baguette)
- 1 sleeve of savory crackers
- 1 small jar of savory tapenade or spread (for example, onion jam or spicy brown mustard)
- 1 small jar of sweet fruit preserves, honeycomb, or quince paste
- 1-2 bowls of something salty and tangy (olives, sun dried tomatoes, preserved artichoke hearts, or pickles)
- 2-3 cups of fruit and berries (pears, apples, seasonal berries, dried apricot, and dried figs work great)
- 1 cup of whole mixed nuts (walnuts, almonds, and pecans are sure to please)
- optional: fresh rosemary and sage for garnish
Step 3: Assembly
Wood, slate, and marble cutting boards are all the rage for adding an elegant backdrop to your holiday cheese spread, but something as simple as a sheet of parchment paper with torn edges will work just fine! The most important rule here is to match the size of your board to the amount of ingredients you have. A modest spread with one wheel of brie, a baguette, and blackberry preserves should be displayed on a small cutting board or plate, not a 10 x 20 inch sheet of parchment.
Start by placing your cheeses spread out over your canvas at least 30 minutes before you plan to serve (cheese at room temperature has the fullest flavor). You may choose to slice your cheese prior to display. If you leave your cheese in whole blocks, wheels, or half wheels, make sure to place a few cheese knives around your board.
Once your cheese is on the board, begin placing your other ingredients around the cheese. For example, you don’t have to place all of your crackers in one corner – spread them out so they’re accessible from all angles. Continue placing the remaining ingredients around your cheese board. If you’re unsure what to place where, try putting ingredients next to each other only if they have different colors or textures.
step 4: eat some cheese!
You’ve just made a beautiful holiday spread by hand! Enjoy the fruits of your labor by trying a little bit of everything on your board. Mix savory and sweet, try something new (maybe that extra stinky cheese), and savor your hard work. Tag your Co-op on Instagram (@davisfoodcoop) if you make a holiday spread this season – we’d love to see what you create!