If the world ever felt the need to crown a cheese queen, I would be the first in line for the throne. Cheese is my life! If you saw the amount of cheese currently stored in my fridge you would probably initiate an intervention. All jokes aside, I have wanted to write a post about the art of preparing a cheese board for quite some time. I know what you are thinking, “just slap all the meats and cheese on a cutting board and you’re done”. Well, you could use that method, but chances are it would look like a hot mess. What you are looking for is balance. Here a few steps you can follow to create your cheese board.
1. Get a cheese board.
Nowadays you can find a cheese board in any shape, size, and even with your best quote on it. We got our cheese board as a wedding gift from a dear friend, and it says “The Snell Family”. We absolutely love it. If you are looking for a cheese board, just head over to Etsy and follow your heart’s desire.
2. You want your cheese selection to have SASS.
No, seriously… You need something Smooth, something Aged, something Sharp, and something Spicy (or with a bite). S.A.S.S. In my case I chose some Harvati, Parmiggiano Reggiano, English Cheddar, and some Smoked Provolone Picante.
3. Gather all the meats!
I believe you can never have too much cured meats. Prosciutto, salami, capicola, mortadella, whatever you like. Although I should say prosciutto and salami are a must for a balanced cheese board. Salty and spicy to enhance your experience.
4. Sweet mother of fruit!
Again, our keyword today is balance. so far you have salty, buttery, and spicy…. now you need sweet. i find the best fruits to pair with cheese and cured meats are grapes, pears, and any kind of berries. Unfortunately I could not find pears, so I used some crisp apples.
5. Crunch, crunch, crunch!
You could also choose some tried fruit, or nuts, to add a little crunch on your board. You might also want to use some crackers, you choose whether you prefer sweet or salty ones.
6. Composition time.
Let’s get down to business… You want to think of your board as a canvas, or a blank page. each ingredient is different, some are similar shades, some completely different from the rest. Gather all of your ingredients and let’s have some fun, shall we? First you want to get your grapes, or any big amount of fruit and place it on the board. The fruit is going to be your main source of bold color, so you want use them as the statement piece for your canvas.
The crackers instead will be your dividers. Choose a spot and spread your crackers in a line. Once you are done placing the crackers, add the meats alongside the crackers and fruit. You can fold some meats like I did with the copicola. If you feel adventurous, you could try to make prosciutto roses!
Save the best for last, right? Grab your pre-sliced cheese and fill in the blank spaces.
Once your board is full and you have used at least a bit of all your ingredients (chances are you have bought way to much food like I did), you can pat yourself on the shoulder. You have successfully created a masterpiece! Now hurry and snap that Instagram pic before your guests start eating it!