The 10 Commandments
1. Odd numbers: Landscapers use this rule too. Odd numbers are more appealing to the eye. We recommend using 3 or 5 cheeses on your board. Too many cheeses can be overload and you want your guests to be able to experience everything you put together.
2. Mix milks, styles and textures: This will give you a wide range of cheesy experiences. It’s also great when hosting a big group because there’s something for everyone!
3. Vessels for soft cheeses: While a lot of cheeses are just perfect on their own, you will need bread or crackers for people to serve themselves soft, spreadable cheeses on. We recommend using ones that are flavor neutral so that they pair with all of your cheeses well. (Unless, of course, you have a super fun pairing you want to feature!)
4. Seasonal accoutrements: Like with cooking, it’s best to use foods that are in season so that they are both beautiful and have the best flavor. This often plays into an appropriate color scheme too! Springtime? Add spring green produce or edible flours. Summertime? Add fresh berries. Winter? Add fresh herbs and citrus.
5. Color: You can either choose one color to focus everything around or just make it as eye-popping as you can! Think about color when you are purchasing your cheeses too.
6. Meat or no meat: Charcuterie is in reference to prepared meats such as salami, pâté, ham or terrines, not a cheeseboard. Charcuterie is always a welcome addition to your cheeses, but not always necessary. They pair particularly well with aged cheeses.
7. Cut appropriately: Different styles of cheeses require different preparations. Guests should be able to experience each part of the cheese equally – rind and paste. It’s usually best to cut hard cheeses ahead of time so that guests don’t struggle cutting. If you’d like to serve your softer cheeses whole, we recommend cutting a piece out to show guests how it should be served. Bloomy-rind wheels like brie or camembert should be cut into pie-shaped pieces.
8. Pair flavors together: It’s easiest to go for either complementary or contrasting flavors. For example: sweet and salty or both fruity.
9. Separate knives for each: Keep your cheeses pure by making sure there is a knife for each cheese. Be sure sure to do the same thing for your accoutrements. No one wants mustard in their jam!
10. Temperature: Cheese should always be served at room temperature for the maximum flavor, aroma and texture to be enjoyed. We recommend setting your cheeses out at least an hour ahead of time.