How to Create the Perfect Cheeseboard 

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The end of the year is quickly approaching and with it comes social engagements galore. Your calendar is filled with invitations to office potlucks, Friendsgivings, and family gatherings. The list — alongside your anxiety — continues to grow with what to wear, what to bring, and what to attend. Before you start heading down the google recipe rabbit hole, check out this stress-free guide on how to make the sharpest cheese board that will impress even the toughest of critics. Keep reading to discover how to create the perfect cheeseboard. 

cheese board guide

The Cheese

cheeseboard cheese

The cheese is arguably the most important part of a cheeseboard. A tried and true method is to choose one cheese from each family — cow, goat, and sheep. Aim for three to five cheeses with a mix of soft and firm options, sticking to three if there will be many courses to the meal or adding more if, after a few bottles of wine, it may become the meal {not speaking from experience or anything}. There is no harm in starting with your own favorite cheese — chances are, if you like it, so will your friends. Here are a few popular options of each to get you started:

Soft cheeses: brie, goat cheese, mozzarella

Semi-firm cheeses: manchego, swiss, provolone

Firm cheeses: cheddar, parmesan, pecorino

Read More: Thanksgiving Catering in Hoboken + Jersey City

The Meats

cheeseboard meats

{Photo credit: @casey2cook}

Now that you’ve selected your cheeses, let’s get to the meat of the problem {pun intended}. It’s time to add some charcuterie — aka cured meats — to the mix. Prosciutto, salami, soppressata, and chorizo are all great options that can be found at a local grocery store. If you opt for cheeses on the firmer side, aim for some prosciutto or thin slices of salami folded into triangles to balance out your board. Pro tip: slices of salami create an aesthetically pleasing river across the board and help delineate the cheese from the other accouterments. 

The Spreads, The Bread, and Other Add-Ons

cheeseboards thanksgiving friendsgiving

{Photo credit: @casey2cook}

Speaking of other accouterments, the next step is to determine whether the board needs sweet or salty additions to accompany the meats and cheeses. Typically found in the fridge or pantry, one popular option is to add a spread — pour mustard, honey, tapenade or jam in a small jar, bowl, or ramekin for guests to tuck into. Toss on some nuts or olives for extra crunch. Just make sure to leave an extra bowl nearby for the pits and shells. Finally, fresh and dried fruit can round out the board, adding a pop of color and pleasing the sweetest tooth on the guest list.

Bread and crackers are expected, of course. Baguettes, crostini, and rosemary sea salt crisps {just to name a few} are great options to add to your board. Potato chips are a fun alternative to the classic water crackers. If you want to add some visual height to your board, grab a box of breadsticks, break them in half, toss them into a jar, and voilà — a breadstick bouquet.

See More: A Guide to Friendsgiving in Hoboken + Jersey City

Local Help

cheeseboard cheese store

The most important rule in your cheese board journey is to have fun! And luckily, there are some local cheesemongers {a term of endearment for a person who sells cheese} here to help.

Winner of Cooks vs. Cons on the Food Network, Chef Casey (Casey2Cook) is a cheese board expert based right here in the Mile Square. Follow this local caterer’s journey on Instagram at #theplatterwhisperer for cheese boards that will make you melt {as seen above}

If you need just a place to pick up some cheese in Hoboken, swing by Cheese + Wine located at 720 Monroe Street. This local spot sells a variety of cheese and charcuterie for all your cheeseboard needs.

In Jersey City, check out Van Hook Cheese & Grocery located at 528 Jersey Avenue in the Historic Downtown area. This family-owned cheese and specialty grocery store carries all the fixings for your cheeseboard vision, right down to the board itself. They even sell pre-made platters and cheese collections if you find yourself in a last-minute jam.

What is your favorite cheese board addition? Tell us in the comments below!

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Written by:

Born and raised in Madison, this authentic Jersey tomato has ripened in Hudson County for the last seven years. As a graduate of Northeastern University’s D'Amore-McKim School of Business, Chloe’s been nerding out over Excel spreadsheets {and stalking you on the internet} since she took her first internship at Efficient Frontier in NYC. Don’t let her college choice fool you, she is a diehard Met’s fan and has the weathered scorebook to prove it. When she’s not dodging armpits and elbows on the PATH, she can usually be found watching Jurassic Park {the original, obviously} for the billionth time, talking to every Jersey City dog she passes, or finishing the last slice of pizza.