How To Assemble a Classic Cheese Board
- 4 to 6 different kinds of cheese, 4 ounces per person
- Sliced bread and crackers
- Fresh or dried fruit (we used dried figs, fresh pears, and green grapes)
- Toasted nuts (we used walnuts and marcona almonds)
- Condiments like honey, jam, mostarda, or chutney
- Cheese paper or parchment paper
- Plastic wrap
- A cheese board (we prefer wood, but marble and slate are also fine)
- Labels for each cheese you're serving
- Cheese knives for each individual cheese
Buy your cheeses: Aim for a mix of cow, sheep, and goat cheeses, as well as a mix of fresh/young, bloomy-rinded, washed-rind, semi-firm, firm/aged, and blue cheeses. Buy enough so that you end up with around 4 ounces of cheese per person at your party.
Store your cheeses at home: Unwrap any cheese wrapped in plastic and re-wrap in a layer of cheese paper (or parchment) and then another layer of plastic. Store all cheeses in the fridge until the party.
Let the cheeses warm before the party: Take your cheeses out of the fridge 1 1/2 to 2 hours before the party. Leave them in their wrappings so they don't dry out.
Arrange the cheese on cheese board: Close to the start of your party, arrange the cheeses so they each have a bit of room for slicing and scooping, and so there's room to pile some of the cheese board accompaniments all around. Use two or more boards if there's not enough room at one.
Pile the accompaniments around the cheeses: Arrange the bread slices or crackers, fruits, nuts, and little ramekins of condiments around the cheeses.
Add name tags and a knife for each cheese: Set a pile of napkins or cocktail plates nearby so guests can help themselves.