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.

Beginner Cheese Board

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.

Intermediate Cheese Board

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!

Advanced Cheese Board

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.

Happy Boarding!

*Photos and inspiration by Marisa Curatolo

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO JILL ROBSON!

CONTEST ALERT!

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. 

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Comments

  • Alison Braidwood says:

    I spy on ready-made cheese boards at our local gourmet deli to give me ideas :0

  • Katie Coupland says:

    Don’t let the pickles leak onto the cheese!!!! I’ll admit, I am not the best cheese board organizer!! This would be a lot better than the board that I currently have!

  • joyce s. says:

    put some grapes on the board to add some colour to the spread

  • Amy Heffernan says:

    I always like to add a wide variety at least 6 different items.

  • Ann Brown says:

    Fell in love with you cheese in Winnipeg at the 50th boler Anniversary event !

  • Shelley Hickey says:

    don’t cube the cheese

  • Lana Hood says:

    I like to precut some cheese slices from the cheese wheel so as to get people comfortable to start cutting their own.

  • Donna Maroulis says:

    Have a mix of fruit/vegetable/crisp bread/artisan bread/cheeses & meats on your board . Varied tastes and textures add to the experience and enjoyment.

  • always add fruit to your cheeseboard!

  • Krista says:

    Thanks my biggest cheese board tip is… only use Bothwell cheese! 😉 haha

  • tricia kucheravy says:

    Love Bothwell Cheese!! #shoplocal

  • Amelia says:

    I like dispersing wetter and dryer ingredients. This way, there won’t be one big hole on the board as it’s consumed.

  • Helen Cichon says:

    I always take my cheese out at least 30 mins. before serving to maximize flavours and, as a courtesy to my guests, I like to label all my cheeses with mini chalkboard label sticks so everyone knows what they are.

  • Jill Stepaniuk says:

    My Cheese board tip is that presentation will always make an impression. At Christmas time I always place sprigs of Rosemary on my board to represent Christmas trees.

  • Arla Goldau says:

    My cheeseboard tip is to invite plenty of friends to share it with. Also, add wine!

  • Shara says:

    I like to add a goat cheese log, mostly because it’s my favorite!

  • Anna Ricketts says:

    Oh this would be lovely toward up to full of cheese on Christmas morning

  • Gudrun Laurendeau says:

    I like to include some thinly sliced baguette and local (Smak Dab) mustard. Great combination with quality Bothwell cheese!!

  • Lynnie says:

    Make sure you take the cheese out of the fridge so it warms up a bit and the taste is at it’s best!

  • Lily Tabb says:

    It’s all about visual appeal. Lots of colour – use orange and white cheese, jams, fruits, nuts, crackers, dried fruits and add different colour toothpicks!

  • Nicole Bonomo says:

    I always add grapes, strawberries, and jam on my boards. Savoury and sweet, it is a dream bite.

  • Monique L.S. says:

    I have never had an official board for my cheese, just a tray. I like offering a variety…not everyone likes even the most popular cheeses. Also, I add pickles and olives.

  • Karen David says:

    I like using natural cheeses ???? with no artificial color added, so I buy a mix of cheeses including some swirls of natural color in it. Buy cheeses with different textures and with colourful serving knives ????. Don’t forget colorful fruit like grapes ???? and strawberries ????. And buy an assortment of colorful crackers to make it pop!

  • Toby says:

    Rub half a lemon over the wood to eliminate odor. This also helps to sanitize.

  • Adrien Adams says:

    My favourite board finally broke…. Nothing makes me happier than preparing snacks in the kitchen for my family❤

  • Denaye Dorge says:

    Separate the pickles from the cheeses and don’t get poor quality cheese. I like to have many different varieties of meats and cheeses and a bowl of olives compliments them very well!

  • Jesse McEwan says:

    Make your star (cheese) of your platter shine, use a slate or a wooden board, most cheese is a light shade, this will make your cheese stand out. I like to incorporate colourful fruit such as a bowl of pomegranate seeds. I also like to use a variety of flavours and textures, that way there’s something for everyone and is the best visual presentation.

  • Taryn Jacoby says:

    Always use Bothwell Cheese! 😉

  • Jo-Anne Pfoh says:

    i like to add veggie and crackers i also like to have 2 boards one for soft and one for hard cheeses

  • Bev says:

    I like to add as many different varieties of olives as cheese. And use artisan honey

  • Janine Rutledge says:

    I love to add honey to my cheese board. It’s something sweet and different.

  • Aleta Allard says:

    I always buy Bothwell Cheeses because I love the variety they offer, their quality & I know I am supporting a great Manitoba product! If you do this how can you go wrong on your cheese board???

  • Ali says:

    A good variety of soft & hard cheeses to please every palate!

  • Steph says:

    I’ve never made a cheese board, but I am enjoying reading all these tips. I’d like to try this out for our annual New Year’s party.

  • Terri Baker says:

    I always put the cheese board out about an hour before consuming so the cheese is at room temperature and allows you to get the full flavour of the cheese. I also add some honey and fig preserves so you can put some sweetness with your choice of cheese….so delicious.

  • charity says:

    have a variety of both strong and mild cheeses, not everyone loves the pungent flavours

  • Melinda Jana says:

    I like adding some fresh herbs, like basil and peppermint, onto the board to add a little kick when people enjoy their cheese

  • Stephen Kozma says:

    Homemade preserves that change with the seasons. Some sweet. Some savoury. Chutneys always elevate delicious smoked cheeses like my favourite Maple Smoked Extra Old Cheddar!!

  • Sarah James says:

    I try to incorporate a number of tastes , textures and colour on my cheese boards, and also try to vary the heights of cheeses fruits etc to create a better visual !

  • Vera says:

    I like to create a savoury and spicy spicy board, with crackers, breads, veggies, and pickled veggies.
    And a separate board for sweet cheeses.
    This is cool post with so many great ideas – thanks everyone for sharing your tips!

  • Kathleen Pickell says:

    At Christmas.. Love to make cheese and fruit ???? tree platter. It is a festive addition to the table!

  • Dawn Kocur says:

    I like to put fruit specifically grapes on my cheese board, I like the savory and sweet balance
    Thank you

  • Nolan Smith says:

    I pre-cut some of the cheese from the cheese wheel as some people seem to be hesitant to dig in if no one has taken any yet.

  • Sylvie says:

    I love to add fresh fruits and jams

  • Jill Robson says:

    My tip for a great cheese board would be to ask your friends/family what their favourite cheeses are so everyone can discuss why they love such cheese! Also to have gluten free crackers as an option for people as well!

  • Jill Robson says:

    My tip for a great cheese board is to include some gluten free cracker options. Also love asking friends/family what their favourite cheese is so I can include it on the board and they can share what other things to pair with the cheese.

  • Peggy says:

    I always put small bowls of salted mixed nuts for each guest alongside my cheeseboards

  • I try to choose ingredients based on color as well as flavor. A well thought out cheeseboard is art! 🙂

  • Petra says:

    Its the way my dad is eatind…on board, so we put the cheese right on the bred and call those onebite…:) Merry Christmass!

  • Petra says:

    Its the way my dad is eatind…on board, so we put the cheese right on the bred and call those onebite…:) Merry Christmass!

  • Rachel says:

    Boards can be simple with not many ingredients, but just make sure they are GOOD quality. Great Bothwell Cheese works just great with some of your own favs

  • Erin Dingwall says:

    I’ve never made one before 🙁 BUT would love to try!!!!

  • Jen Gutoski says:

    There’s different ways to make a cheese board???? I think I need some help!

  • Ryan says:

    Always name the cheese!

  • Kandis MacKay says:

    If there are no nut allergies, a sprinkling of pistachios or walnuts is delicious!

  • Julia H says:

    My tip is to not forget to think about the colours you’re using on your cheese board! I’ve seen boards that are basically entierly white, for example (white-coloured cheeses, white crackers, cut up fruit that is mostly white such as pears or peeled apples…). The colour matters, I think. A nice balance of different colours makes it much nicer. Thanks for the chance!

  • Robyn says:

    I love to have a mixture of flavours, textures, and colours on my boards. Sweet, salty, tangy, crunchy, delicate…. variety is key.

  • Celina Gray says:

    I slice the cheeses while cold, loosely wrap them and then let them come up to room temp. During the winter I add more dried and pickled fruits, vegs and nuts.

  • Jonnie says:

    Use mini cookie cutters to cut cheese into festive shapes for your holiday cheeseboard.

  • Jay Nelson says:

    I have never added honey to a cheese board – what an interesting idea (I’ll save it for at work as I do not want sticky spots a home, lol). The first time I ever had a cheese board (it was on a mirror, not a board) I wished that they had labelled the cheese as I was curious what some of them were. If possible have little label signs.

  • Pat B says:

    Include fresh or dried fruit and nuts on your tray.

  • Doug Gordon says:

    I really enjoy cheese boards but only recently started making my own and I still have a lot to learn. I do try to include different shapes/textures of cheeses & crackers to make it more interesting and include some sweetness by including jams . Thanks for the great tips on your site.

  • Jennifer says:

    Have a good selection on fruit and crackers to go with the cheese.

  • Sherri Banks says:

    Mix some sweet with the savoury to add variety to the board.

  • Nicole says:

    I serve pickled goods and olives in ramekins. The addition of fruits to make the board visually appealing also. Great wine and great friends are a must! Thanks for all these amazing opportunities to win fabulous products! Merry Christmas ????

  • Bev says:

    I love different flavours. I always take out ahead of time so the true flavour of the cheese comes out. I also add some meat to the board, kolbassa, prosciutto to add extra flavour. Love Bothwell!

  • wendy hutton says:

    I put an assortment of crackers, cheese, finger fruits-nothing too juicy so it doesn’t spread onto the crackers, dips on the side

  • Tanya B. says:

    Always slice the cheese not cubed and add some fruit.

  • Susan says:

    My best trick is to get my daughter to put a cheese board together for me!

  • Laval Brassard says:

    I add nuts and fruits

  • Cara Olsen says:

    Use Bothwell Cheese of course!

  • Nolan Smith says:

    spray lemon juice on the cheese board to eliminate any odours

  • Angela O says:

    Add a variety of cheeses so there’s different flavours to appeal to everyone.

  • Dianne G. says:

    When picking out your crackers get mild flavoured ones rather than ones with a heavy spice flavour. They overpower the flavour of the cheese. I like to think of the cheese as being the star of the show and the other things on the board are there to not take away from the star but to accent it and let it shine.

  • Vanessa says:

    Dried fruit is one of my favourite elements. Also candied nuts can be a yummy addition. One other thing I’ve done I would do again is a fruit chutney on Brie cheese warmed up in the oven! Soo good!!! ????????

  • Tanya MJay says:

    I like to add different textures and colors as well as some complimentary but different flavors to make my board both visually and tastebud appealing 🙂

  • Cassandra says:

    As long as you have boursin, meat, cheese, pickles, crackers and grapes, you can make a great looking platter ????

  • Sheila Hildebrandt says:

    I’ve never prepared a cheese board, but would love to. I would definitely add nuts!

  • Melani Keller says:

    Add variety and ensure you add some height and have colour on your board 😉

  • Julie says:

    Love all the bothwell flavours! Just received some maple smoked cheddar from a school fundraiser that will be on our next cheese board! Thanks for supporting our groups!
    I like a variety of sweet and spicy toppings and additions, and crackers and sliced baguette on my cheese board.

  • Julia Monk says:

    Serve with toothpicks for easy cheese “picking” ????

  • Elaine says:

    I like to add nuts and fruits for a variety of textures

  • Love to serve different types of Bothwell cheeses to introduce to my friends.

  • Rosie W says:

    I like to try to change it up every time. Whether it’s a cracker, add some nuts, different olives, paired with a new wine, etc. I even use cookie cutters to change shapes of cheese so nut just cubes.

  • Crystal says:

    Slice the cheese instead of cutting it into cubes.

  • Susan paterson says:

    I add some squeaky cheese both white and coloured also some fresh herbs too,the curds add a different element to the tray especially for those who are not familiar with the “squeek “

  • Anne says:

    My number one tip is lots of friends and family to share Bothwell Cheese. The more the merrier ????????????

  • Anne says:

    Share with lots of friends and family. The more the merrier and Bothwell Cheese of course. A delicious selection of fruits, crackers my family will enjoy. Happy holidays.

  • Jacquie says:

    Have lots of extra Bothwell Cheese cut up ready to refill your board. It disappears rather quickly.

  • Nadine Perreault says:

    A good mustard can really compliement the board as well! Thanks for the tips and having such great cheese!

  • Christina Bruno says:

    Add nuts, dates, dried chickpeas for variety ????