If there is one moment during the year that no one will ever question how long you (I) linger around the hors d’oeuvre table, it’s during the holidays when the table is loaded with glorious amounts of creamy, lush cheese. After all, what can be more fun than nibbling on new types of cheese or an excuse to indulge in your favorite cheese?
Putting together a holiday cheese board couldn’t be simpler. I like to include at least five kinds of cheese ranging from soft, semi-soft, semi-hard and hard from different regions of the US or International. You could always create a “local” cheese board with cheese made only from your region. This would be a delicious way to support not only your local cheese makers but introduce your guests to the cheese produced in your area.
I also like to assemble an international cheese board, sort of “around the world in cheese”. This is delectable fun and creates interesting conversation around the food table. It’s also a great way to introduce guests to new cheese!
I like to label the cheese on the holiday cheese board and if there is room on the label, give a short tasting description. You can find tasting descriptions online or simply ask your local cheese specialist. They love to talk cheese. 😉 I should know, I worked as a cheese specialist once upon a time – and I still like to talk about cheese.
When putting together your holiday cheese board be sure to add in a few extra nibbles either on the board or on platters around the board. I recently found these lovely parmesan cheese crisp crackers that are divine when paired with cheese. I also love an interesting selection of charcuterie paired with the cheese, possibly from your local charcuterie shop or butcher. Assorted oil cured or stuffed olives (I adore lemon rind stuffed green olives), candied or truffle laced nuts, peppers or peppadew peppers, grapes, apple or pear slices dipped in chocolate. A small assortment of fresh bread, crostini or crackers rounds out this lovely holiday cheese board.
A holiday cheese board makes a perfect first course for all your dinner parties or celebrations, but it can also make a fabulous last course with cocktails or aperitif.
Wishing you all a most delicious and happy holiday season!
Loads of Love,
- Five types of cheese ranging from soft, semi-soft, semi-hard to soft
- Oil cured or stuffed olives
- Charcuterie, assorted (salami, prosciutto, mortadella, pancetta, etc)
- Fresh fruit such as grapes, pear or apple slices
- Peppers or Peppadew Peppers (goat cheese stuffed peppadews are divine!)
- Candied, smoked, herbed or truffled nuts
- Assorted crackers, crostini, fresh bread, slices of pumpkin or banana bread is always fun
On a large platter, platters or wood board, place your cheese around the board/platter, spacing it out and cutting a few slices of each to get the slicing started.
In between the cheese place bits of grapes/fruit, tiny bowls of nuts, peppers and olives, roll or stack the charcuterie and then wedge the crackers in if there is space. If not, serve the crackers, crostini, bread pieces, etc in small bowls or platters.
Label the cheese and serve. Simple and delicious!
This Holiday Cheese Board was created for Western Horse & Gun Magazine 2016 Holiday Issue.