The ultimate guide for creating an impressive cheeseboard

You know those deep and meaningful questions floating around online like "if you had to survive on only three foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?" Well, my answer is cheese. It's always cheese. So as you can imagine, I've gotten pretty good at creating a cheese platter (or a grazing board as the cool kids might call it) over the years. Maybe it's the design background in me, maybe its the wine and cheese addict?! Whichever it is, I thought I'd share with you what I consider to be the most vital ingredients to help you create a show stopping cheese platter. 

 

 

Step 1: choose a handmade, unique cheeseboard

You know how I feel about supporting handmade - I'm all for it wherever possible and I try my best to sing that message from the rooftops. If you missed my previous blog post about the benefits of supporting handmade, you can read it here.

So when creating a cheeseboard masterpiece, in my (totally unbiased) opinion, you either go for a handmade timber board or a ceramic platter. For a handmade timber board you can't go past Turner and Turner. Handmade in WA's southwest from sustainably sourced timber, the attention to detail and their passion for quality is unmistakable. 

And when it comes to a ceramic platter, well *cough cough* {shameless plug} *cough cough* you can shop my range of grazing platters / cheeseboards here.  😉

cheeseboard guide

Step 2: add cheese, cheese and more cheese

It probably goes without saying but variety is key here. Think about selecting cheeses with different flavours, textures, shapes and colours to give your grazing board a good balance. The cheese combo I've gone for here is a hard cheese, a soft cheese and an aged cheese. I don't actually like blue cheese much myself but hey, it's not all about me. On this cheeseboard I have selected a hard and crumbly vintage cheddar (my fav) from Ashgrove Tasmanian Cheese, a soft and creamy brie from Udder Delights Handmade Cheese and finished with an aged gorgonzola piccante. Make sure you also think about the placement of your cheese on the board. Spread the different varieties out and make sure they are different shapes to create interest. 

how to create a cheese platter

Step 3: cold cuts 

Variety is also important with the cured meats. Some like it hot and spicy, some like it strong and smokey and some might like it a little more plain jane. Depending on how many people you are serving, you could go all out and have selections of salami, coppa, prosciutto, pepperoni, sopressa... the list goes on. For this tasting board I have selected a nice salty prosciutto and a spicy salami. I like to scrunch them up a bit to create height and add some texture. Simply laying them down can make them look a bit drab sometimes. 

how to create a cheese platter

Step 4: Fruit - fresh and dried

I love to add both fresh fruit and dried fruit to a cheeseboard. Fresh fruit creates a perfect flavour combination with the creamy cheeses - think pear and brie (yummo!). Dried fruit is great for a punch of colour and a burst of sweetness. On this grazing board I have opted for fresh pear which is thinly sliced and fanned out to show the contrast of the bright green skin and have also used fresh passionfruit simply as a centrepiece and a pop of colour. On the dried fruit front I have added dried figs and I pile them up once again to add some height. 

tips to make a cheeseboard

Step 5: Crackers

A variety of crackers is sometimes forgotten about but I think it is a really nice touch and with such a huge variety available these days, go and have some fun! Make sure you think about the shape and size and where they might fit in on your board. On this platter, I added some beetroot crackers which are delicious but they also make a statement on the board and become a bit of a talking point. I also added some Kettle Burnt Fig Flat Bread crackers  which are small enough to fill in some of the gaps left on the board. You can also add some fresh bread if you have the space.

how to create a grazing board

Step 6: Nuts 

Now that all the bigger ingredients are on the board,  you can start filling in the gaps with some nuts. Nuts add a good crunch option on the cheeseboard and a bit of a salty hit to go with the sweeter cheeses and fruit. Almonds and/or walnuts are always a good option for grazing boards, but on this one I've opted for mixed nuts.

 

guide to creating a grazing platter

 

A few more things to note

When you're laying out your ingredients, balance is key. Make sure everything is evenly spaced and that the colours are balanced. Grouping all of the meats and darker coloured ingredients together would throw off the look of your platter and make it look rather heavy in some areas. Instead, spread them out and place them next to lighter coloured ingredients like the cheese as this gives a nice contrast and is much more pleasing on the eye. 

Don't forget, we eat with our eyes first! 

 

Bon appetit! 

 

Lauren x

 

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