How to Build a Cheese Board
This post is sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin AND Proudly Wisconsin Cheese. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
It’s no secret that I love making cheese boards. I’m thrilled that we’re able to start gathering with family and friends again, so I have an excuse to put together cheese plates more often! Maybe it’s our Midwestern roots (I’m from Ohio, Alex is from Minnesota, and he went to school in Wisconsin) but we have a soft spot for Wisconsin cheese. We’ve been to the National Cheese Society convention, we’ve attended a lecture by a cheesemonger from Wisconsin, and we both really like cheese.
I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite tips for building a tasty cheese board, featuring some of my favorite Wisconsin cheeses!
For this particular board, I used four different types of cheese.
- Sartori Merlot– This cheese starts out with light, sweet caramel and savory notes of Parmesan, and it has a rich, creamy texture & finishes like a cheddar with a sweet fruitiness. It’s soaked in Merlot wine which adds hints of berry & plum – the rind is meant to be eaten! Sartori has been family owned and operated since 1939, so they know cheese. Their mission is to make the “Best Cheese in the World” and I think they’re right on track! Sartori partners with Wisconsin family farms to source the freshest, highest quality milk. This particular cheese won the Gold Medal in 2018 International Cheese Awards
- Roth Organic’s Gouda– Described as “the quintessential Dutch cheese,” it has a mild sweetness that works well with other cheeses and flavors. Roth Organics specializes in Swiss-inspired Wisconsin mande alpine-style cheeses, and they hit the mark with this gouda! They work with family-owned Wisconsin dairy farmers to source quality milk which results in quality cheese!
- Roth Organic’s Cheddar- This rich, buttery Cheddar has a classic, tangy flavor. I think this is the kind of cheese that goes well with anything! In fact, I think it would be incredible on a grilled cheese or a cheese plate!
- Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery Cheddar Cheese Curds– Cheese curds are a midwestern staple, known as “squeaky” cheese. It’s a fun and unique cheese to add to a cheese plate! Ellsworth began making cheese curds in 1974, before being dubbed the “Cheese curd capital” of Wisconsin in 1984. They have a 9-month shelf life so you can keep them in your fridge until the cheese craving hits! They’re high in protein and calcium, and they’re a fun snack and great to use in your favorite recipe or salad.
All of these cheeses are located in Publix Deli department. From 5/08 until 5/21 you can save $1 off participating products! Learn more by visiting the savings page here!
My Favorite Cheese Board Accompaniments
Crackers- I like using a variety of crackers, but I try to keep the overall flavors pretty neutral so the cheese can shine. For this particular board, I used Triscuits, both in the classic sea salt and the cracked pepper flavors. You can find these in the cracker aisle at Publix!
Grapes- One of the more classic fruits to pair with cheese, I love the sweetness and color that red grapes bring to a cheese board! Be sure to wash the grapes, then use kitchen scissors to cut the grapes into small bundles. This makes it easy for everyone to grab a few grapes at a time.
Dried fruit– I’ve been loving dried apricots lately. I think they pair really well with the light sweetness of the gouda.
Apple slices- A crispy, sweet apple is the perfect thing to pair with cheddar cheese. Be sure to wait until you’re ready to serve the plate before slicing your apple so it doesn’t turn brown.
Salted nuts– Almonds and cashews have been my favorites to use lately. I love a salty almond with the Sartori Merlot and the cashews are so good with the gouda!
Tips for Serving a Cheese Board
I try to cut all the cheese into slices before serving, so it’s easy for people to grab what they want. You can certainly serve the cheese with knives and let people cut off what they like, but I find that it tends to be easier to cut the cheese before arranging with other foods.
Slice the cheese into bite size pieces, so it’s easier to stack on a cracker or eat in one bite. For foods like pickles and olives, be sure to include a small serving spoon or fork to serve it off the plate. You may also want to give your guests toothpicks so they can avoid sticky fingers!
I hope those are some helpful tips for when you’re making a cheese board at home!
What are your favorite ingredients to add to a cheese board?