Cheese. It’s so simple, but sort of the best thing ever. Especially when paired with a glass of wine and a cured meat or two. Cheese and charcuterie boards make a great centerpiece for any get together and they’re relatively easy to pull together: All you have to do is cut some cheddar into cubes, unwrap a round of brie then toss it on a cutting board and scatter Triscuits around everything. Right? Wrong. Don’t do that. From the knives to the actual board, there is a lot of way to screw up a cheese and charcuterie board. Luckily, my cousin, Anna, is the master of cheese and charcuterie boards. So we sat down with her to learn some tricks and tips.
Working at Saputo, Anna has a lot of cheese and charcuterie to choose from: “Saputo’s master cheese makers know that time is the secret to great cheese. It’s a tradition that is crafted into all DuVillage and Alexis du Portneuf products, as a delicious tribute to the passing of time.” We got lesson in all things cheese as Anna explained to us how she builds her gorgeous cheese and charcuterie boards.
Here are the 6 you need to know to put together the perfect cheese and charcuterie board:
- Cheeses – There is such a wide variety of cheeses out there it can be hard to narrow down choice to just one. The number one rule when putting together a cheese plate is to offer a variety of styles of cheeses. Try finding a combination of aged, firm, soft, crumbly and creamy cheeses. If you are serving any hard cheeses, cut them into slices ahead of time to make it easier for guests to eat. Offer a variety of types of milk as well; cow, goat, sheep, they all have different tastes and textures. That being said – do not go too crazy, make sure to serve at least one cheese that people are familiar with. For a visually appealing spread, plate an odd number of cheeses, using either 3 or 5.
- Don’t limit yourself to traditional platters – For aesthetic purposes, it is always nice to plate things on rustic wood cheeseboards with pretty silver cheese spreaders. Another good choice is slate because you can write the names of the cheeses in chalk.
- Know how much to put – You can typically allot 2 ounces of cheese and charcuterie per person when deciding how much to buy.
- Cheese is best served at room temperature – Take your cheese out of the fridge 1 to 1.5 hours before serving.
- One knife per cheese – While this may seem daunting, serve a knife with each cheese so flavors do not mingle.
- Dress up the board – Anna notes that it is important to dress your board up with a variety of meats. “I like to always give a poultry option, for those who prefer a leaner meat. Olives, dried and fresh fruit, preserves, nuts, jelly’s and jams all help create not only dimension and colour contrasts to the boards. Not only are boards visually appealing, but allow for selection to those with preference.”
The products we tried were complimentary but chrissymeetsworld.com remains unbiased in our content.