The calendar: “The most wonderful time of year is almost here!”
Everyone else: “Wait what?! How is it the middle of October already?!”
I am right there with you. Though this time seems to move like lightspeed from October through the New Year, there is one thing I am excited for … the holiday parties.
And with every holiday party comes the one appetizer that seems to stand the test of time, celebration after celebration — the ever-popular cheese board. Filled with numerous bite size treats, it is the first thing people gravitate to at a party, and the last thing people nibble on at the end of the night.
But where to start?
A great question I am excited to help answer!
I pulled together the MUST HAVES for an indulgent cheese board (if you want to call it a cheese platter or charcuterie board, don’t worry, no one will stop you), making this year’s holiday entertaining that much easier.
From jams and honey to fresh fruit and jarred vegetables, a DIY cheese board is as simple as open, cut and display. You don't have to over complicate it, if your family is anything like mine, they will eat every possible combination until it’s all gone! But in case you need some inspiration here are five basic steps on how to make a cheese board:
1. Pick your cheese
What cheeses to put on a cheese board?
I suggest sticking to classic flavors or styles. i.e., aged Cheddars, Colby Jack, Monterey Jack or Gouda cheeses. For an extra kick include a cheese with added spice. Try our Pepper Jack, Fiery Jack or Jalapeno Jack cheeses.
- The Creamery Medium Cheddar Cheese
- The Creamery Colby Jack Cheese
- The Creamery Gouda Cheese
- The Creamery Fiery Jack Cheese
- The Creamery Jalapeño Jack Cheese
How many cheeses should be on a cheese board?
Three to four types of cheeses are a good amount for any size of gathering with an ounce of cheese per guest. If cheese is the main feature or you’re a cheese-enthusiastic family, bump it up to 6 ounces per guest.
2. Explore Savory: Protein & veggies
For protein think meats like salami, Italian ham, prosciutto (i.e., Italian ham), or even deli meat. Then for vegetables, fresh or pickled work here. I suggest doing some of each.
- Stuffed olives
- Sliced green bell peppers
- Cornichon pickles
- Grape tomatoes
3. Add some Crunch: Crackers & nuts
Texture is your friend when creating the best and simplest cheese board. For starters select 2-3 styles of crackers, i.e., club crackers, sourdough flatbread bites, multigrain crackers or for a sweet twist, graham crackers. For the ultimate crunch explore including pretzels or even brittle.
Nuts may seem like a snack meant for football Sundays, but in fact they can be used to provide a cheese board essential crunch factor. Try salted almonds, cashews or peanuts.
- Memaw’s Country Kitchen Cheese Tiddies
- Rustic Bakery Organic Sourdough Flatbread
- Bluebird Candy Company Candied Peanuts
- Bluebird Candy Company Candied Almonds
4. You dip, we dip: Jams & honey
Dipping crackers in jam or drizzling honey over cheese, will elevate any cheese board. Especially when you place the honey or jam in a little bowl or drop it directly on the board or pour over a soft cheese. At The Creamery, we like to pair spicey jams and honeys with our cheese, specifically jalapeno preserves and chili-infused honey.
- Runamok® Maple Cheese Pairing Collection
- Mike's Hot Honey®
- Pepperlane Pepp’ricot Jalapeño Preserves
- Cox Honeyland Pure Honey in Glass Skep Jar
5. Finding the right sweet: Fruit & chocolate
Be honest, are you a sweet or savory person? When it comes to cheese pairings, we are fan of sweet accompaniments with savory cheese!
Fresh fruit of the season — apples, raspberries, grapes, cherries, oranges, strawberries — add the right amount of sweet to a cheese board.
Chocolate, whether it’s milk or dark adds a bit of richness to the spread. Try adding chocolate covered pretzels and nuts, or assorted chocolate pieces from your favorite local chocolate maker.
- Rustic Bakery Pecan Shortbread
- Bluebird Candy Company Popcorn
- Memaw’s Country Kitchen Lemon Coolers
- Mimi's Country Candies Fudge Box
Make your cheese board experience even simpler by ordering one of our gift boxes, delivered right to your doorstep.