Despite the name, you can serve a lot of foods on a cheeseboard. They are decorative, functional, and a popular choice to serve many dishes on. These sorts of boards, when paired with foods, are often called charcuterie boards. This is just a board with a variety of meats, cheeses, vegetables, or a plethora of other foods. A common question people ask is, what do you serve on cheese boards? We've done the research to provide you with a list of options for your next charcuterie board.
Common foods served on a cheese board include:
- Cheese (all variations)
- Sliced meats (ham, turkey)
- Nuts (almonds, pecans)
- Vegetables (celery, carrots)
- Bread (french, sourdough)
- Fruits (grapes, dried mangos)
The combinations are endless and depend on your specific palette. Keep reading below as we explore the list in more detail and answer some more frequently asked questions.
Types of Cheese
You can present many kinds of cheese on a cheeseboard. Cheddar, pepper jack, and Colby-jack are some of the most popular cheeses. These can be thinly sliced, cubed, or cut in any way you want. When it comes to cheese boards, it is all about presentation, so get creative with how you cut them.
What Foods Pair Well With Cheese?
There is no limit to what pairs well with cheese. Because there are so many types of cheese, each cheese pairs well with different foods.
Meat and cheese have been a staple for years. A classic combination is cheddar or pepper-jack with ham or turkey. Cured meats, such as hard salami and pepperoni. On top of that, you can add crackers into the mix for even more flavor combinations.
Other combinations include meatless pairings, such as gouda and nuts. Brie is a very soft cheese and is often paired with apples, specifically green. As a rule of thumb, harder cheese goes with harder fruits, like sharp cheddar and apples. Grapes are also frequently present on a charcuterie board.
Some people even pour honey on specific types of tangy cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano.
You can also put richer cheeses on bread for the best flavor. Bread, such as sourdough, is excellent when paired with sharp cheddar. Soft, spreadable cheese, like a herb-filled goat cheese pairs well with toasted slices of a more rustic type of loaf.
A charcuterie or cheese board is meant for you to taste test. These are all great pairings to try, but the best pairings are the ones you come up with yourself. Eat what tastes best to you. Try savory options with different cheeses as well as sweeter options so you can learn what your favorite is.
What Nuts Go With Cheese?
Yes, nuts and cheese go very well together. With all different kinds of nuts and cheeses, it might seem challenging to figure out which goes best together.
Pecans are a favorite because they go well with almost any cheese. Cheese and pecans are also often mixed with jellies or other sweet treats. Also, try out different kinds of spiced pecans to bring out even more unique flavors.
Walnuts pair well with aged cheeses. Cheddar and Gouda are great aged cheeses. Walnuts are also delicious when paired with something sweet like honey on a softer cheese.
Almonds are great snacks when paired with cheese and freshly-sliced apples. However, these nuts go well with just about all cheeses.
Ricotta, brie, feta, and most other creamy cheeses are fantastic with pistachios. These soft cheeses complement the pistachios' flavor very well.
How To Arrange A Cheese Board?
When preparing a cheese or charcuterie board, one of the most important aspects is presentation and arrangement. Cheese boards typically consist of lots of colors. Setting up a cheese board to look visually appealing is an art form, and can take your charcuterie board from boring to jaw-dropping.
Start by choosing a cheese board to serve as your foundation. You can choose any shape, but one of the most popular is a round board. Color also matters, so make sure you choose a natural look. Avoid colors like blue, red, or other unnatural wood colors.
The first thing you want to place on your board is your fruits. These will serve as your centerpiece, to which you will form the rest of the items around. Use fruits such as grapes, apples, mangos. Try to make it as colorful as possible.
Next, place your cheeses down, evenly spaced around the fruit. Add different color cheeses and plenty of variations when it comes to texture and firmness. A good cheese platter has variety.
If you have nuts, place them next to the cheese you know they pair well with. Follow this pattern with slices of bread, crackers, or other salty foods. If you know that certain crackers go great with a brie, place them as close together as possible.
Lastly, for the board, add any other dried or small fruits to any empty spaces you see. This adds a little more texture to your board. And you do not even have to stop there. If you want jellies, place them in little bowls with spoons next to your cheese board for easy access.
Cheese Board Examples
This board showcases the importance of placing and arranging your foods. Some meats are rolled while others are folded neatly. The key is to provide variety. Greenery is also placed on top of the foods for added color.
Here is a great example of a rather unorthodox cheese board. You can be creative by adding gummy bears and popcorn like this cheese board has. It also has a great mix of classic foods you would expect such as grapes, cheeses, crackers, and meats. This board shows you that there are no perimeters to a cheese board, and you should feel comfortable expressing yourself by including your favorite foods.
You can use a cheese board to introduce your guests to all kinds of different flavor combinations. It can also look as incredible as it tastes if arranged right. Now that you are prepared to create your very own cheese board blow your guests away with a beautiful spread and delicious pairings.