I love a good cheese board. In fact crackers and cheese is pretty much my favourite, especially when I’m entertaining.
A good cheese board though, takes crackers and cheese to a whole new level! There’s certain elements that go into creating the perfect combo, if you have these elements covered, I pretty much guarantee a perfect cheese board.
The creamy element of the perfect cheese board is the cheese. We used Ivanhoe Cheeses. They have a great selection of artisan cheddars, as well as specialty cheeses including Naturally Smoked Gouda, flavoured Monterey Jacks, Aged Cheddar, Cheese Curds, and Swiss. Yum, yum.
It’s good to think about textures, from hard to soft, when choosing your cheeses, and flavours, from mild to strong.
I love to add in some salty elements when putting together a cheese board.
Think nuts -I added some salted roasted cashews, and I made a batch of spicy candied walnuts.
Another great salty hit could be some olives. I like to pick up a variety of kinds.
I also included some cured meats. These were picked up at the farmer’s market -a great place to shop for these extra elements.
When I was younger I didn’t get the whole sweet with savoury thing, I’m happy to say I outgrew that, and now I love it. This time of year, there’s so much great seasonal fruit available. I’ve included some lovely fresh plums and peaches from the farmer’s market.
Another great addition is figs, these are fresh, but other times of year dried fruit works great too.
Another great hit of sweet, with the salty included, are these pieces of beautiful fresh local cantaloupe wrapped with prosciutto -always the first thing to go at a party.
Sour is a great addition to a cheese board. Think pickles and chutneys. I’ve included a favourite of mine -red onion and balsamic chutney. I just pick it up at the grocery store, it’s such a great combo with the cheese.
The crackers are a great crunchy element. I’ve made my flatbread salt and pepper crackers -they’re pretty simple to make and always a big hit. I also picked up a few of my favourite crackers from the store. I like some plain and some more fancy with dried fruit and seeds, also some crusty bread is a great addition.
The nuts are also a great crunchy element.
Fresh veggies can add a great crunch too. These grape tomatoes add a little, think of the crunch of breaking through the skin of fresh sweet tomatoes.
A little spice is a nice addition to a cheese tray. I love a red pepper honey (that sweet and hot combo is great) and the spicy candied nuts pack a little punch too.
Another little spice comes from the meats, one crusted in peppercorns.
I love to serve a little grainy mustard too, it’s got a touch of heat to it that’s so nice with cured meats.
Last but not least, make it pretty. Collect some pretty cutting boards and lay everything out for guests to help themselves. Overflowing containers look great, and create a feeling of abundance.
I added a few fresh flowers too, just some wild flowers from behind my house, and few sweet peas from the garden.
By including all these elements, you’re sure to create The Perfect Cheese Board -or Cheese Table, as my daughter said. 😉
With The Perfect Cheese Board, life really is a party!
Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Ambassador Campaign and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.