No matter the gathering, cheese boards are the perfect party trick. Whether you’re the host with the most or heading to a potluck, a robust, beautiful grazing board is the ultimate fan favorite. To help you prep for the holiday season, we’ve put together some ideas to build a Pinterest-worthy cheese board.
First things first, let’s cover the basics with Cheese Board Making 101.
Variety: Keep things interesting for your eyes and your palette. Include different cheese flavors and textures. Keep a balance of sweet and salty accompaniments, like briny cornichons and pretty honeycomb. And, of course, add some pops of color with different fruits and vegetables.
Organic display: The beauty of a cheese board is that it both looks and feels effortless. Place cheeses in both their whole form and partially cut. Part of the fun is creating a space for guests to mingle as they make their own plates.
What's in a name? There are so many terms for a beautiful board. Charcuterie boards have meat and may or may not include cheeses. Cheese boards, on the other hand, have plenty of cheese and include meat or can be vegetarian. Then we have grazing boards! These large displays are jam packed with cheeses, meats, and accompaniments, which are practically overflowing off the platter. No matter what you call it, it’s a delicious way to serve your favorite pairings.
Have fun with it: Add a bit of personality to your presentation. Thematic cheese knives can be novel, while vintage or sleek ones amplify the sophistication factor. From round to rectangular to square, every board shape gives a different feel.
Now that you have your board-designing foundation, let’s take the concept of a cheese board to the next level!
When you’re putting together a cheese board for a small family affair, keep it simple. Intimate gatherings are cozy by nature. Add some extra warmth with a board built around a delectable round of baked Brie. Tear up pieces of bread for rustic charm…and dip into the gooey cheese. Whatever you include, make sure to have items that hold the velvety brie like crackers, textured veggies (i.e. broccoli and cauliflower), and diagonally sliced carrots. You’ll also want something acidic to help cut the creaminess, like apple slices or grapes. When it comes to placing the cheese, you can move it from the oven to the board directly, or keep it in a mini skillet while on the board. Either way, it’ll be delicious!
Friendsgiving is a fantastic occasion for a stunning cheese board to shine. Impress your friends with a grazing board that’s overflowing with a flavorful assortment of cheeses, meats, and various pairings. Start with the cheeses, and let them dictate what else to include. Plate medallions of Marinated Truffle Goat Cheese and drizzle with its olive oil. Toasted pieces of bread are ideal to hold the soft cheese, and to balance the umami flavor. The cranberry log adds festive color and sweetness. Keep it in its form — and pair with water crackers — for maximum impact. For the right amount of tang and richness, crumble some of the fresh goat cheese, keep the rest intact, and add a cheese knife. As you put together this board, remember that more is more. Fresh vegetables and fruits, honey, jam, nuts, cornichons, salami, prosciutto, pate… if you name it, you should consider it.
Hosting a large holiday dinner? With so many dishes to prepare, an easy appetizer is the way to go. A beautiful grazing board acts as an all-encompassing spread that’s fun to put together. Use as many cheeses as you can to efficiently fill out the board. Our Original Fresh Goat Cheese is a perennial favorite, and just took the Gold at the 2022-23 World Cheese Awards. Plus, there are so many other flavors and textures to choose from. Fluffy pillows of rosemary and thyme, dill, four peppercorn, and more add both taste and height to your display. Denser logs provide length and more surface area for potential toppings. We love the Creamy Brie as an aged option, and as a great space to place a lovely knife. Add a variety of crackers, honeycomb, cornichons, vegetables, and fruits. Top it off with edible flowers for additional color, and as a simple way to elevate the whole thing.
Brunch can be an overlooked moment during the holiday season. Include a lox board as an interactive dish. Our spreadable goat cheese has the right amount of luscious flavor and light texture to pair with any kind of bagel. It’s also great with your favorite veggies, from cucumbers to tomatoes, and everything in-between. Another cheese choice that amps up a lox-filled bagel is our delicious Dill Fresh Goat Cheese. Fresh dill brightens up the flavor with a dash of zing from the goat milk.
For all the sweet tooths out there, a dessert board is a delightful way to end any meal. (Or as the main course — no judgment here!) It’s the same concept as any other cheese board when it comes to presentation: pick your cheeses, and build out from there. Try the Cranberry Goat Cheese Log paired with graham crackers. The sweetness from the cranberries brings out the hints of cinnamon and honey from the whole wheat cookies. Spice things up with the Marinated Jalapeño Chili Goat Cheese, which goes deliciously with dark chocolate.