Are you entertaining this weekend? Here are 3 tips from the cheese expert Roxanne Keeping at Summerhill Market. One of the advantages of being a “Wife of a Grocer” is access to passionate food experts and Roxanne is just that. She has the ultimate palate, knowledge and passion for cheese. I asked her what would be her first 3 tips for making the ultimate cheese board.
Variety and Texture
A selection or different types of cheeses is probably common sense but here are three features of cheese to consider when choosing for your guests. (1) Source of the cheese, remember not everyone can eat cow dairy (me included!). To ensure all your guests can partake in your spread it is key to have a variety of cheese sources such as cow, goat, sheep and my favourite buffalo.(2) Texture based on moisture, it would be ideal to have a choice of all three soft, medium, or hard (3) Mold and cheese go hand in hand. There are three main categories of cheese where mold is an important feature: soft ripened cheeses, washed rind cheeses and blue cheeses.
Add colour to your cheese board with cheeses, fruits, nuts or jams. Making the cheese board beautiful makes it more appetizing and by adding colour you are also helping in the variety department. Colours bring different tastes and different combinations and will appeal to the different palettes that may be partaking in your board.
Room Temperature Serving
This tip was a big learning for me! I’m always in a rush and just throw my cheese on the board straight from the fridge! Roxanne tells me that you need to bring your cheese out of the fridge a minimum of two hours before serving. The true textures and tastes of the cheese will come out when the cheese is at room temperature. So make sure to plan!
I hope you found these tips useful, Roxanne said it was hard to give just 3 tips! Here are a few of my own recos from my cheese board experiences. I like things simple so when I make a cheese board I try to leave space on the board for cutting and accessing. This means I keep my crackers, breads and meats on their own boards. Plus don’t forget jams, there are so many amazing types out there! My current favourite is the Smoked Garlic Jam from Bulbs of Fire or my old faithful is a nice hot pepper jelly. Enjoy your cheese!