How to fake a really chic cheese board
We seem to have guests in-and-out of here at the moment, which for me means wine and some bloody good cheese boards on-the-ready.
The easy-peasy days of Coon, cocktail onions and Jatz are far behind us. Now our nibbles are expected to be in the manner-of Gourmet Traveller! Our cheese boards should be Pin-worthy and impressive enough to star in their own Facebook update. Cheesus – the pressure!
I have crawled all over the internet looking for some inspiration for some seriously chic cheese boards. I give them to you, as well as a checklist of what one needs in her kitchen should someone come a-knocking. Let me know what I’ve missed.
- Get to know your cheese monger or check out the cheese cabinet at your local supe.
- Choose one or two great cheeses or create the perfect selection :
- An old, hard cheese– like a Cheddar, a salty Parmigiano-Reggiano, Quesa de Manchego or Gruyère.
- A ripe, gooey whiffy thing – Triple Cream Brie or a Camembert. Know that the older the cheese, the oozier it is.
- Big blue – think Stilton or a magnificent Tarago River Gippland Blue. Bluer-the-better really.
- Something fresh and mild – Burrata, ricotta or feta.
- A little Goat – or Chevre (ie fresh goat cheese).
- Cheese should not be served cold. Always take out of the fridge an hour or so before serving.
- Add crackers – keep them plain and simple so as not to interfere with the flavours of the cheese.
- When styling your board, keep the whiffier cheeses well away from the milder ones to prevent them absorbing that strong, cheesy smell.
- Always supply each cheese with its own knife. I mean, who wants their Blue meddling with their Chevre!
- For a pretty presentation, add wedges of apple, pear, some grapes, pomegranate seeds and fresh figs.
- Add dried fruits, like apricots, figs and dates for a more rustic look and intense flavour.
- Olives, cornichons and proscuitto are all ideal for a quick and tasty up-style.
- A quince or plum paste is irresistible with a soft cheese like a White Castella or a really creamy, oozy Brie.
- Add a jelly or a preserve on the side. It looks chic is its little bottle and adds perfect sweetness to a salty cheese.
- Drizzle honey and honeycomb over your Camembert or Brie. A sprinkle of toasted almonds gives great crunch and looks super-impressive.
Some pictorial presentation inspiration.
Keep-it-simple-sister. Sometimes perfectly plain is the most beautiful.
I have only just recently started adding honey and honeycomb to my cheeses. It adds major luxe-factor, especially if you are only serving one cheese. Maximum effect for minimum effort.
Love the idea of placing each cheese on its waxed paper.
Love all three of these. Check out Donna Hay’s effort in the bottom right-hand-corner. Marinated Mozzarella, basil and preserved lemons. OMG territory!
A baked cheese with preserves and figs is sometimes all you need, and it’s dead-easy to pull together in a rush.
The Modern Mother’s sneaky weapon – pre-mediated presentation! Keep these little tags on standby and you will blow their Choos off!
Muscatels are great to keep in the fridge. They are a classic cheese accompaniment for good reason. So super-sweet and always chic.