Cheese board with condiments & wine

Setting up the perfect cheese board

Making a cheese board that is both ridiculously delish and aesthetically pleasing, i.e. so it even LOOKS ridiculously delish can be summed up in a few words: VARIETY + MAXIMUM FLAVOUR.

Plain cheese on a cracker can be a little drab, let’s be honest. When there’s a bit of quince paste on it – now we’re talking!

A cheese platter can be a really nice comfort food for a quiet night in or an appetizer at a dinner party, maybe even a dessert should you so please. Here are a few little tips to make your next cheese board a memorable one.

1. Cheese

Try to stick with 3 very different cheese types, remember we are looking for variety. The usual categories are:

  1. Soft: Brie, Camembert, French Neufchâtel
  2. Hard: Cheddar (tasty/smoked), Gruyère, Parmesan, Pecorino
  3. Strong flavoured: Blue Vein, Aged Goats

2. Condiments

You don’t have to have a different condiment to match each cheese but it does take your board to the next level. Some condiment options are:

  1. Quince Paste: As it is a richer flavor, it goes better with more basic cheese, whether they are soft of hard cheese. Try it with Brie or Cheddar.
  2. Cheese Jelly: They have a subtle flavour to them and go well with more strong flavoured cheeses such as Blue Vein or Aged Goats. I am yet to find a better match for Blue cheese than Apple and Port Jelly – they were made for each other!
  3. Chutney: The humble chutney does not get the publicity it deserves. It’s packed with flavour (which ticks one of the 2 requirements that every cheese board should fulfill) go with a mango chutney for your hard cheeses. Chutney is not recommended for soft cheeses.

3. Fruit

You don’t need to go overboard here but a few bits of fresh and dried fruit can help freshen up the palate and liven up the cheeseboard.

  1. Dried apricots/dried figs: Due to their sweetness, they’re nice to have after eating a hard or strong flavoured cheese.
  2. Grapes & sliced apples: This is a no-brainer, grapes & apples are juicy, refreshing and are perfect to have after a soft cheese to rinse the palate, preparing it for the next delightful bite!

All of the above can be accompanied by any cracker or bread of your choosing.

Condiment Queen’s suggested condiments are:

  1. Apple & Port Jelly 
  2. Pear & Muscat Jelly 
  3. Orange & Thyme Jelly 
  4. Quince Paste 
  5. Mango Chutney
  6. Moroccan Beetroot Relish (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!)
  7. Rooftop Honey (surprisingly, honey is perfectly matched with all cheese types)

That should do the job. Now dig in an enjoy!


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