CHEESE BOARDS FOR ANY LEVEL
Posted by: Bothwell Cheese
Wondering how to WOW your guests this holiday season? It’s easier that you think! A cheese board is always a great way to start a festive get together, no matter what level “monger” you are.
Pro Tip: The foundation for a jaw dropping cheese board is quality ingredients like Bothwell Cheese, which is crafted with 100% Canadian milk and available in traditional, gourmet, spicy, and smoked varieties.
Beginner Cheese Board: Start with two or three cheeses like Bothwell’s Marble Cheddar, Meunster and Smoked Gouda. All three varieties have their own unique visual appeal, offer a range of flavour, and are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
Then, add an assortment of fresh fruit such as grapes, pears and raspberries. Leaving the grapes on the vine gives an authentic feel, just make sure you wash them thoroughly. After that, simply cut the pear in half with one half facing down and one facing up.
Pro Tip: Place cut pears into a bowl of 7-up or sprite and drain just before serving. The sugar and citrus will prevent browning.
Don’t worry about fancy knife skills here. Cubing traditional cheese like Marble Cheddar is completely acceptable. Putting whole blocks on display creates a bold statement with zero work involved. All you have to do is add a cheese knife so your guests can serve themselves their preferred portion.
Lastly, add your crackers. One type of simple cracker, like a Wheat Thin or Breton will do for a basic board.
Pro Tip: Disperse crackers between the fruit and cheese – it breaks up your ingredients, creating visual appeal instead of having one separate giant pile of crackers.
Intermediate Cheese Board: Here we have added two more varieties of cheese – Black Truffle Monterey Jack and our award-winning Non-GMO Project Verified Old White Cheddar. These choices have more distinctive flavour and offer even more selection to your plate.
Cutting the cheese in different shapes can also take your board to the next level. It can be as easy as cutting a square block into two triangles, or slicing thin rectangles as pictured below.
We’ve added dates and cherries for some extra color. Toasted almonds give a little bit of crunch and raw local honey adds sweetness. Lastly, long gourmet bread sticks add elegance and texture to your board.
Pro Tip: Overlapping ingredients is a way to get more onto your cheese board, and also eliminates “white space”. It paints a pretty picture, and adds dimension.
Advanced Cheese Board: Our third board is extra EXTRA. We have chosen an extra long (2 feet) raw edge board. The large size is made to impress, but now you have to fill it up 🙂
Whole mandarin oranges with stems & leaves offer pops of colour and give a holiday vibe. Next, up is raspberry jam which pairs perfectly with many types of cheese because of the contrast between sweet and savoury.
Pro Tip: Serve preserves and honey in small bowls and place them intermittently to keep the board visually balanced.
In contrast, big plump Italian olives add saltiness, keeping the palate entertained. A few more types of nuts like pistachios, almonds and whole walnuts scattered throughout, and an additional type of cracker to finish things off.
Pro Tip: Assemble this cheese board exactly where you plan to serve it. Once everything is on it, it might be really heavy!
The cheese board itself, as well as cheese knives and serving dishes can also make a big impression. Quality serving ware doesn’t have to be expensive. There is an abundance of options available at reasonable prices at stores like Superstore, Ikea, and our favourite, Homesense. For something unique and one of a kind, check your local artisan markets to find handcrafted cheese boards from makers like Lynn Craft Heirlooms or Elaine Dilay.
*Photos and inspiration by Marisa Curatolo
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO JILL ROBSON!
Tell us one of your own cheese board tips for a chance to win a Bothwell Cheese bamboo cutting board.
To enter: Comment below by 10:00 am on Friday, December 21st.
*One entry per person. Winner will be contacted by email and will have 24 hours to respond. No cash value. Contest open to Canadian residents only.