Ever since I moved to New Zealand, I’ve been fascinated with the variety of good cheeses in the country. Now I understand why Jon missed having “cheese and crackers” while we were travelling. The only cheese and crackers I knew back then was Ritz!
Don’t you just love cheese boards? They look absolutely beautiful and really stand-out when hosting people. While the end product looks meticulously well-prepared, it actually doesn’t take that long to make this very Instagram-worthy dish! I remember when the girls came over and we all just sat in awe for a while in admiration (we took photos, of course!) before we actually took our first slice!
While Jon was away travelling on his own in India, I hosted some of my girlfriends over for a wine and cheese night. While we didn’t have a wide selection of wines – riesling, moscato and sauvignon blanc were the favoured options, I did make a bit of effort on the cheese plate.
Finding the Right Cheese Board
There are a variety of boards out there from standard wooden blocks to hard marble. I chose a small wooden block with a magnetic set of cheese knives. I really love the fact that they stuck to the side of the board so that everyone knew where to put them afterwards. A wooden chopping board, a serving platter or a pizza serving plate also works well as a cheeseboard if you are looking for easy alternatives.
What Cheeses to Include
Most people recommend 3 varieties of cheeses. It’s good to have a variety of textures (hard, soft and crumbly), colours (white, yellow and waxed), shapes (wheel, block, triangle) and strengths (mild, aged). Some cheeses can be very expensive so make sure to check with your guests if they have any preferences so you don’t go overboard and get a fancy blue when no one will dare to eat it! Having a familiar cheese like brie or cheddar is also good so people have an obvious choice before trying other cheeses.
It’s also good to put labels on if you have time or introduce the different cheeses to your guests.
How to Make an Awesome Cheese Board
Here’s how I made my first cheese board:
- Sharp Cheddar
- Sun dried tomatoes
- Capsicum and Apricot Relish
- Roasted Capsicum Hummus
- Dried apricots
- Bunches of green grapes
- 2 to 3 Varieties of Crackers
- Flat Bread
- Fresh rosemary leaves to garnish
- First, arrange the cheeses on the board. It’s good to leave enough space to be able to insert the other stuff. It’s also ideal to leave them out at least 30 mins before your guests arrive so they are at room temperature when you serve them.
- Roll the prosciutto, lay it out flat or make rosettes. It’s entirely up to you! Prosciutto is quite a delicate meat and looks really pretty on the board. You can also include other deli meat varieties like salami or roast beef depending on the number of guests and their preference.
- Spread the crackers around. It’s good to have two to three varieties of crackers so that you can mix and match them with the other items on your cheese board. Flatbread, bread sticks and pretzels are also nice to include if you have them in the house.
- Place nuts, olives, sun dried tomatoes in small dishes. You can also just use the chutney or jam jars if they are small enough.
- Fill in the gaps with plenty dried and fresh fruits, nuts, and other items!
- Dig in and enjoy your cheese board with some wine.
Are you curious about New Zealand food? Check out our post about must-try New Zealand food and drinks.
Have you tried to making your own cheese board? Have you tried New Zealand food? Let us know.