With the holidays coming up, it’s time to start planning for all of your feasting needs. While you might think of the main meal or dessert first, you’ve gotta kick things off right with some small bites to start. And there’s no more appetizing appetizer than a big, beautiful board filled with meats and cheeses from our deli.
Not sure where to start? Here’s what you need to know to make a cheese board with all the works.
This is the fun part! There’s a wide variety to choose from and mixing and matching is our favorite way to choose our cheese. Try to pick a few from each of these categories:
Aged cheeses are allowed to mature for at least a few months. During that time, they take on sharper, more complex flavors and a firmer texture. Most are great paired with thin slices of apple or pear. Gouda, cheddar, and Parmesan, for example, have many aged varieties.
Soft cheeses are just that, soft! They are creamy, buttery, and perfect on a cracker, with many having unique flavors or overtones. Think Brie, Camembert, or Epoisses.
Blue cheeses are created with cultures that add a web of edible mold throughout and also impart deliciously pungent, vivid flavors. Classic examples are gorgonzola and Roquefort.
A wide range of cheeses fall into the firm category, from supple cheddars to nutty, buttery Alpine varieties like Gruyère. We like to include a few different varieties to sample all the cheesy possibilities.
Fresh cheeses are ready to eat just as soon as they’re made, and show off the flavors and nuances of their milk. These include ricotta, mozzarella, and chevre.
Charcuterie encompasses cured meats like salami, prosciutto, and pâté. They pack an extra punch of flavor, especially when made with herbs, spices, or smoke. Try mixing milder varieties, like ham or mortadella, with stronger ones, like chorizo or a spicy soppressata
In addition to adding some much needed texture and crunch, these carbs help deliver all that deliciousness straight to your mouth. You really can’t skimp on crackers—they’re always the first thing to run out. So fill your board with breadsticks, sliced baguettes, mini toasts, and crackers with a variety of seasonings and textures.
You can create incredible flavor pairings by placing salty, sweet, or nutty add-ons next to your cheese. Make sure to grab fresh or dried fruits, nuts, olives, honey, and jams. And of course, you’ll want some wine, cider, or beer for washing everything down!