How to Make the Perfect Cheeseboard

Posted on 21 Oct, 2014 by Kiwi Faves

How to Make the Perfect Cheeseboard

A decent cheeseboard is an essential addition to any summer soirée. As an appetiser to the main course or as hors d’oeuvres, there’s no better way to get the taste buds started and please all the cheese lovers among us. Mix with a glass of your favourite wine or craft beer and the mood is set. The beauty of a cheeseboard is that no two are ever the same – so have a go at creating the perfect cheese combination with your own personal twist.

The cheese:

Ideally you’ll need a mix of at least three cheeses for the perfect platter.  Take into consideration the shape, colour and texture of the cheese and get a variety of rounds, wedges and blocks or balls.

Soft cheese – Camembert and brie are favourites on any cheeseboard, and there is so much diversity; rich and indulgently creamy triple cream, the complexity of rustic Normandy Style Camembert or the subtle flavours of a simple Single Cream Camembert.

Hard cheese – Think aged cheddar, Gouda or parmesan, a yellow is always a welcome addition to the offer.  Puhoi Valley Parmesan is a nutty yet sweet tasting hard textured cheese which is wonderful in cooking but equally enjoyed crumbled into bite size chunks.  For a contrast in taste and texture, Puhoi Valley’s Havarti layered with Chilli and Lime gives a delicious whip and kiss, sandwiched inside two delicious creamy slices of havarti cheese.

Blue cheese – Blue cheese has many flavour profiles – from the strong feisty flavours of Puhoi Valley’s Gorgonzola Style (specially handcrafted in small batches) to the sweet and creamy notes in Puhoi Valley Distinction Blue.  And for those who are new to blue but want to be a little adventurous there is the subtle flavour of a blue infused brie.

Fresh cheese – Feta adds a light, fresh flavour to your cheeseboard. And if you’re after something less salty and truly moreish try Puhoi Valley Chevre’s Style Goats cheese – soft and smooth  but more delicate than standard feta, with a light citrus flavour

The accompaniments:

Combining a well balanced mix of fruit, deli meats, condiments, crackers and bread is the key to creating the perfect cheeseboard.

Fruit – grapes are the go-to on a cheeseboard, with a selection of white and red to match different cheeses being ideal. You could also go for apple, pear or quince paste

Deli meats – A variety is best here, to suit everyone’s tastes. Ham, salami and prosciutto are always crowd pleasers. You could also try some smoked chicken, turkey or salmon slices if you’re looking for something different.

Condiments – Look for tasty fruit or vegetable chutneys, piccadilli, pickled onions or gherkins. If you want to impress your guests, honeycomb goes well with blue cheese as does freshly sliced pear. Any preserves that are either sweet or tart will do the trick.

Crackers and bread – go with your personal preference, as long as the flavour of the cracker isn’t too overwhelming. Crusty breads and pumpernickel are also great accompaniments for cheese.

Olives – stuffed or not, green or black; there’s really no way you can go wrong with good olives!

Wine matching:

Here are a few wine and cheese suggestions that have been tested by the Kiwi Faves team! If wine is not your thing, try a few of your local craft beers.

Camembert matched with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or sparkling wines

Brie matched with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir or sparkling wines

Double Cream Brie matched with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or sparkling wines

Parmesan matched with Chardonnay or Merlot

Cows Feta matched with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling or young Pinot Noir

Goats Milk Feta matched with Late Harvest Riesling orLate Harvest Gewürztraminer

Blue Brie matched with Chardonnay or Riesling

A few more tips:

  • Remove soft and blue cheeses from the fridge at least an hour before serving.  This will allow the cheese to get to room temperature which enhances the smooth and creamy texture.
  • Cheeses like camembert, brie and blue are best eaten closer to their best before date, allowing time for the flavours to develop.
  • Use a separate knife for each cheese so the flavours aren’t mixed up and the most appropriate sharpness and size makes it comfortable for guests to help themselves.
  • If you’ve only a few bites left over, no problem! Simply melt them down and make a delicious four cheese pizza or a gourmet toasted sandwich.

What are your tips for the perfect cheeseboard? Share them in the comments below!

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