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5 Questions for a Simple Board


I am often reminded how simple, but also how daunting, making your own beautiful board can be. Unsure of the "rules," folks often follow none at all, just tossing a piece of cheese on a plate with some crackers. Don't let the rules befuddle you. YOU CAN DO IT! Answers to these five simple questions are all you need:

1) Who?

  • Cheese novices? Opt for more approachable selections. Vegetarians? Skip the charcuterie (or serve it separately). Kids? Keep things mild and colorful.

2) How Much?

  • Select 3-5 cheeses for variety without overwhelming your guests. 
  • For an appetizer or dessert, serve 3-4 total ounces per person.
  • For a main course, serve 5-6 ounces per person.

3) Which Ones?

  • Offer different looks, tastes, and feels.
  • Start with one soft-ripened, one semi-firm, and one hard cheese. 
  •  Throw in one or two with interesting colors and/or flavors.

4) With What?

  • Bread & crackers: sliced baguette, raisin nut bread, interesting flatbreads. Tip: serve more than one!
  • Savory: Nuts, pickles, olives & mustards add savory tang while creating a beautiful visual element.
  • Sweet: Fruit jam, quince paste, or honey. Fresh and dried fruits add additional sweetness, acidity, and color.

5) How?

  • Allow cheeses to sit for an hour so they are their most flavorful.
  • Provide a knife for each cheese so cheeses don’t mingle.
  • Allow access (remove hard rind, point cheese outward, leave space). 
  • Provide cheese labels (if you have time).