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Making a simple cheese board for beginners

Posted by Anna Laurin on
The Creamery gift boxes displayed as a cheese board

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 cheeseImages of cut cheese on a board

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.

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 & veggiesImages of olives and meats on cheese board

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.

  • Carrots
  • Stuffed olives
  • Sliced green bell peppers
  • Cornichon pickles
  • Grape tomatoes

3. Add some Crunch: Crackers & nutsImage of crackers, nuts and more on a cheese board

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.

4. You dip, we dip: Jams & honeyImage of jelly, knife and cheese on a cheese board

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.

5. Finding the right sweet: Fruit & chocolateImage of chocolates and cookies on a cheese board

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.


Make your cheese board experience even simpler by ordering one of our gift boxes, delivered right to your doorstep.

Shop gift boxes

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