Cheese and charcuterie boards are the ultimate way to feed a crowd without minimal effort. We’re letting you in on a big secret: once you learn the basics of assembling a cheeseboard, you can apply the same tricks to charcuterie, “seacuterie” and grazing platters. For example, a variety of colours and textures is always ideal. Also remember to think about how each component will be eaten – this will determine which tools and utensils (such as small knives or an empty bowl for olive stones) you’ll need to add to the board.
- The three core cheeses of any great cheeseboard are: cow’s-milk cheese, sheep’s-milk cheese, and goat’s-milk cheese – include all three to balance flavours and textures and have more options for flavour pairings.
- Aim for various colours (creamy Camembert, blue-veined Gorgonzola, yellow Gouda) and textures (soft goat’s cheese, semisoft mozzarella, firm Cheddar).
- Supply a separate serving utensil for each cheese – it doesn’t have to be fancy, we’ve skewered mature Cheddar blocks with olives and salami to make it easier for your guests to get the ultimate bite. Include small spoons and knives to spread soft cheeses, and add a chisel knife for harder or crumbly cheeses.
- Bring the cheese to room temperature for at least an hour before serving – cold temperatures dull flavours.
- Place accompanying components in the empty spaces on the board.
For the kiddies’ table, don’t settle on chips and sweets. Assemble a cheeseboard using milder cheeses as the mature cheeses may be too intense for the young ones’ palettes. Mini Babybel full-fat semi-soft cheese is wrapped in a bright red wax that makes the eating experience interactive. Include stringy mozzarella and use cookie cutters to make fun shapes using four-month matured Cheddar. Don’t forget seasonal berries, crunchy nuts and crackers, and add some veg with cherry tomatoes and mini cucumbers.
Photography: Sadiqah Ismail-Assur
Recipe: Brita du Plessis
Food assistants: Josh van Zyl
Did you know that Woolworths is the home of award-winning cheese? Woolworths took home a total of 79 awards at the SA dairy championships, including 23 first-place trophies, 5 prestigious Qualité Awards, and the highly sought-after Product of the Year award for their Ayrshire Mozzarella. From soft creamy cheese to matured aged cheeses, you’re bound to find a wide range of cheeses to meet all your cooking, baking and entertaining needs.