Now that summer is here, barbecue season is in full swing and everyone is just looking for an excuse to get together and enjoy the beautiful weather. A classic summer cheese board is the ultimate party pleaser when it comes to simple, tasty snacks but knowing how to cultivate the perfect mixture of sweet and savoury in your boards can be tricky.
Firstly, perhaps the most crucial part of the whole endeavor is choosing your cheeses. Looking pretty is important, but more than anything you want a variation in taste and texture to give your board depth and appeal. Around four to five different cheeses should give your board variety without becoming overwhelming. Mixing classic favourites such as a mild cheddar, with the more acquired taste of a sharp blue cheese will tickle the palettes of your guests and give them a well-rounded taste experience.
Variation is crucial, including harder aged cheese as well as a fresh option and venturing out with goat’s milk and sheep’s milk variations as well. Altogether you want your cheese choices to reflect the whole spectrum of flavors on offer.
To compliment your chosen cheeses you want a mixture of crackers which will pair with each cheese and create a totally unique flavour. Like with your cheese selection, you want to include a nice range of salty and plain crackers, from brown rice and whole wheat to quinoa and amaranth. Variation in size and shape is also crucial to creating a visually appealing board.
Next, you want to accessorise your board with selected sweet and savoury snacks. Mixed nuts and salami are a classic addition to any cheese board, but consider utilizing seasonal ingredients as well. Fresh fruits provide a sweetness which can counteract some of your saltier flavours and create a diverse explosion of flavour for your guests, stone fruits and berries are particularly popular and can provide that sweet summer flavour everyone loves.
Final additions can include sprinkles of herbs and edible flowers, olives or small bowls of condiments like chutney or pesto to create a stunning presentation and add the final delicious touches to your board.
Enjoying summer get-togethers is easy with such a straightforward approach to catering, and the cheeseboard is a traditional but timeless addition to any good barbecue.