Everything You Need For Your Gourmet Cheese Board
The cheese board is an icon of entertaining, a way to share with guests an assortment of extraordinary artisan flavors with elegance and communal charm. A robust board can serve as the centerpiece of a cocktail party, a more modest board is a lovely before-dinner appetizer, and a big hunk of a fabulous Gorgonzola is stunning with afterdinner Port or Sherry.
Our favorite way to present cheese is on a slate tray. This clever innovation allows you to write cheese names on the board, so guests know/learn what they are eating. Plus, it will save you the many post-party phone calls asking for the name of that strong, white French cheese with the orange rind.
The Building of the Celebratory Board
Even the simplest cheese board takes a little forethought, and the best are lovingly prepared with a little cheesy advice:
- We can’t say this enough. Always bring cheese to room temperature before serving it. This allows the flavor to reach its full potential — to open, expand and invite.
- That said, take cheese out of the refrigerator 1 to 1-½ hours before serving.
- Our Cheesemongers recommend 3-½ ounces of cheese per person. If you’re including cheese as part of a larger meal, plan to serve two ounces per person for appetizer or dessert courses. That is, of course, unless you are inviting a bunch of Cheesemongers…
- Provide a separate knife for each cheese, respecting the integrity of their singular flavors.
- Use knives designed for textures, from soft Chèvre to hard Grana Padano.
- Serve chunks or wheels of cheese whole and leave rinds on — they add to presentation with exciting textures, shapes and colors. Never, ever cut cheese into cubes unless you are in a second grade lunchroom.
- Guide the palate. Encourage guests to taste mild cheeses first, then move on to bolder flavors. Organize your board flow to help guests along. Ending with a blue is always nice.
- Refrigerate leftovers promptly.
Crafting the Inspired Cheese Board
When choosing your cheeses, remember – variety is key! Choose an array of flavors, shapes, textures and colors. And remember, when it comes to soft cheeses, a rind is a terrible thing to waste! Need some inspiration? Here’s a sampling to get you started!
- Market District Red Wax Gouda - Imported from Holland! Our Gouda is creamy and mild with a rich, buttery texture.
- Market District Camembert Wheel - Our Camembert is an earthy French cheese with a bloomy rind.
- Adam's Reserve New York X-Sharp Cheddar - Award winning! Aged over 12 months for a uniquely sharp flavor and creamy texture.
- Jarlsberg Swiss Cheese - A semi-firm Swiss with a slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
- BelGioioso Italian Asiago - Hand-crafted and aged over 5 months! Firm and smooth, this cheese has a sweet, nutty flavor with a hint of sharpness.
Accompaniments — A Pretty & Palatable Presentation
Finish off your cheese board with delicious crackers and breads that work to showcase your cheeses, as well as savory and sweet garnishes that add distinct and sometimes surprising flavor combinations when paired. Think Chèvre and figs!
- Artisan breads from our Bakery, Market District crostini or plain crackers that won’t compete with cheese flavors
- Savory olives, hot peppers, charcuterie, nuts, antipasti and fresh vegetables
- Sweet fresh fruits, quince paste, dates, raisins, honey, fruit spread and chutneys