Anyone who has been to one of our VIP events can know to expect a grazing table. Not to brag, but we do think we make one killer grazing board and we are excited to share with you our step by step process to creating a 'weekend' cheese board.
Step 1: Start with the board. Cheese boards are typically assembled on a wooden or marble board which may be square, rectangular, or round. A hot tip if you don't have a specified 'cheese board' we recommend using a wooden chopping board. It provides the same effect and no one will ever know!
Step 2: Place the cheeses on the board. Try to include a variety of flavors and textures by selecting cheeses from different families. Our favorite to use is the red wine goat cheese, whiskey cheddar, and double brie.
When placing the cheese on the board keep the cheese in the block you bought it, as it provides a 'wow' factor when you present the board. When selecting what cheeses to put on your cheese board, it's also good to keep in mind shapes: square, rounds, triangle, sliced. This makes for a more interesting cheese board.
We also recommend placing the cheese on different corners of the board and one in the center.
How much cheese per person? If you're serving this as an appetizer, you only need about 30 grams of cheese per person. If the cheese board is the main event, then I'd go up to 60 grams or so per person. Always have more on hand to replenish the board as needed.
Step 3: Add some charcuterie...aka cured meats. Prosciutto, salami, sopressata, chorizo, or mortadella are all good options. I like to do about 3 to 4 options of Italian cured meats. Some are more expensive than others, but you can pretty much find what you need in the deli section of your local grocery store. Again, start with your favorites and fill in from there. For me, the must haves are Proscuitto di Parma and some sort of salami.
How much meat per person? There really is not a hard rule about this, but about 30 - 60 grams of meat per person should be good.
Step 4 : Add some savory. Think olives, pickles, roasted peppers, artichokes, tapenades, almonds, cashews, or spicy mustards. Place them anywhere and everywhere. They are great filler items!
Step 5: Add some sweet. With all the cheeses and cured meats, it's important to add a little something sweet on the board. Honey or jam is always a good option, and I like to add some dried fruit: dried apricots or dried figs, for example. Think seasonal and dried fruits, candied nuts, preserves, honey, or chutney. Dark Chocolate is a definite must.
Step 6: Offer a variety of breads. Sliced baguette, bread sticks, and a variety of crackers in different shapes, sizes, and flavors. Sometimes we even love to add a full sourdough bread to be a center piece for the board.
Step 7: Finish it off with some garnishes. I like to step back and take a look at my cheese board. Ask, "what else do I have on hand that might be fun to add?" This is a great way to give your cheese board a seasonal touch. Use edible flowers, fresh herbs, or additional fruits to give your board the look and feel you want.