The Cheese Board

The cheese board is a host's best entertaining secret. They're easy to prep in advance, but boast a serious wow factor.

Cheese boards are an easy, customizable option for entertaining—offering a variety of Wisconsin Cheese and accompaniments to satisfy all your party guests. When putting together a cheese board, here are a few simple guidelines:
  • Select three to five cheeses in a variety of flavors, textures, colors and shapes. The general rule is to serve 2 to 4 ounces of cheese per guest.
  • Include both savory and sweet accompaniments. Popular cheese board additions include nuts, cured meats, dried fruit, crackers or bread, and spreads—like pesto, mustard, chutneys and compotes.
  • Appearance is just as important as taste. After all, we eat with our eyes first. Choose a natural surface for your cheese board—wood, slate or stone is best.
  • Cheese is best at room temperature. Take your cheeses out of the refrigerator at least 30 to 60 minutes before serving.
  • Label your cheese. It lets guests know what they're eating while helping less adventurous palettes navigate their options with ease.
  • Most importantly, if you find yourself indecisively stuck in the cheese aisle, remember to trust your tastebuds. Cheese boards are all about experimentation, so have some fun!
 

Dessert Cheese Board

The best part about entertaining is there is ALWAYS room for dessert. A cheese board is the perfect savory option to serve. Below are some tips for the perfect cheese board:
  • Offer a variety of textures and flavors—cheddar is nutty and firm, blue is tangy and crumbly, and brie is earthy and soft.
  • Add sweetness from accompaniments: dates, hazelnuts, sliced apples and a high-quality dark chocolate (at least 70%).
  • Play around with flavor pairings! Blue, dates and sliced apples are equal parts sweet and tangy. Or try brie, hazelnuts and dark chocolate for a mini bite that's totally decadent.
  • Cheddar makes for a great anchor to any cheese board. Luckily, Wisconsin has many of them—ranging from mild and young to more sharp and complex when aged. Pick your favorite, as any cheddar will work well for this cheese board.
  • Serve with a dessert wine, like Port. It will pair especially well with your blue cheese.

 

Appetizer Cheese Board

Every great party starts with one thing: great appetizers. Craft an appetizer cheese board that's perfect for serving at any party, even a Sunday football party.
  • The center of our spread is a few Wisconsin Cheese favorites: colby, smoked gouda and cold pack cheese. (Did you know that colby and cold pack are Wisconsin originals?) Cold pack was developed by a Wisconsin tavern owner to give his customers a spreadable cheese option for snacking. It comes in a variety of flavors, including sharp cheddar, port wine and bacon. Choose your favorite!
  • The key to this cheese board is in the compliments: crackers, good whole-grain mustard, pepperoni, pistachios, dried apricots and cherry tomatoes. Some suggested bites:
           - Crackers, mustard, pepperoni and sharp cheddar cold pack
           - Pistachios, dried apricots and smoked gouda
           - Crackers, cherry tomatoes and colby jack
  • Let your guests play! Each ingredient has different flavors and textures—there's tangy, spicy, crunchy and sweet. You can offer guests a few ideas for mixing and matching, but encourage them to invent their own mini bites too.

 

 

Watch us prepare another favorite Wisconsin Cheese Appetizer Board.

 

Additional Resources


Simply Sensational
Menu and Merchandising Ideas that Sell including cheese trays, plates, boards, carts, Picks & Bites™, pairings and desserts.
 
The Basics of Wisconsin Dairy
Category overview of Wisconsin Cheese and dairy products.
 
Cheese Storage and Handling
It's important to understand the basics of caring for cheese to make sure it stays its freshest and most delicious longer.