Cheese boards/Charcuterie boards/Antipasti platters have been my favorite way of hosting for some time now. Whether it is for a low-key dinner paired with some wine or for an elaborate party, styling a cheese board is both fun and appetizing. I have served it as the main appetizer for many of my gatherings as well as a main dinner depending on how simple or elaborate I want the event to be.
There is nothing like some good cheese and warm toasted bread with some fig jam. I remember when my husband and I were just dating, he walked me to the market in romantic downtown Montreal and we picked out some of our favorite cheeses, fresh breads, salamis and olives along with a bottle of wine and made one of our favorite dinners. While touring Europe, we traditionally had the cheese as the dessert.
The video below will show a nice visual of how to set up a simple cheese board:
WOODEN CHEESE BOARD`
First I will start with the wooden board. Personally, over the years I have collected several of these beautiful pieces. This one I used in this post is a natural color wood with some beautiful carved detail along the handle. You can even use marble slabs, large trays, cookie trays or whatever you have in your home. This is a great marble and wood cheese board. This one is the perfect slate board. I used a pomegranate cut in half with some greenery from a flower shop to add a little festivity.
Each cheese knife has a particular purpose. I have come to learn that the first cheese knife below is for soft cheeses like Brie or Camembert. The middle one is used for shaving hard and semi-hard cheese. The last one is for hard cheese. These knives and cheese platters are among my favorite!
For this cheese board, I used Brie and an aged Kerrygold Dubliner Irish Cheese. In the Ultimate Charcuterie Styling post, I added a flavored Boursin soft cheese. It is typical to usually have 3 cheese choices.
Adding olives and pickles is a must to balance the flavors and enhance the flavors of the cheese.
Jams/Confiture, honey, or any kind of sweet spread is a must for a well-balanced cheese board.
Cured meats is the reason these boards are sometimes called Charcuterie. Charcuterie is a French word for cured, salted, thinly sliced deli meats. All these flavors together are very appetizing.
A fresh component is a must. You can go with the traditional grapes or juicy pears or even strawberries, apples, and other berries. I personally feel it serves as a palette cleanser but it also enhances the flavors of the meats and cheeses.
Styling the board is really what ties it all together. Here I threw in a fresh baked baguette and some crackers, nuts, Marcona almonds. I styled it with a half cut pomegranate, a few fresh cranberries, and some sprigs of greenery. Depending on the season, you can add some herbs like a sprig of thyme, mint or basil and voila!