TL;DR if your cheeseboards aren’t all they could be, scroll down and follow the tips outlined.
Is it weird that I follow like 30 cheeseboard accounts on IG? I think no because as clearly indicated by the follower count, apparently all y’all do too. But let me tell you, while it seems so easy, I think we can all agree we have seen a shit cheeseboard before. And if you’re me, you’ve def made a shit cheeseboard before.
And now there’s people who will let you pay them to create a cheeseboard for you. And so let me interject here if you’re on the fence about this: no, you should not put money toward someone creating a cheeseboard for you, and yes, you should put money toward your student loans. (As Lizzo once said, truth hurts.)
Let me save you from yourself. Here are the keys to making a cheeseboard you’ll actually impress yourself with:
Get 3-5 cheeses, no more, no less.
Only 2 looks dinky and more than 5 looks junky. This is kind of dependent on the size of the cheese and the size of your board, so if you’re struggling to tell, leave ~5 inches or so between each cheese and the far edges of the board.
Put the biggest things on your board first.
When you’re trying to piece together this thing, be sure to place the biggest things on your board first. If this is the hunks of cheese, do that. If this is a little bowl of dip or jam or something, put it on there too. Which brings me to my next point:
Please for the love of all that is holy, do not keep things in their original packaging.
I’ll make an exception for small, cute jelly jars, but plastic wrappers do not belong here. It makes it harder for your hungry guests to get to what they need and also it means everyone’s grimy little hands are touching the wrappers and containers and carrying it from food to food, instead of their grimy little hands touching only the things they’re going to eat.
Pull apart things that stick together.
On the grimy little hands bit, if you have salami or basically anything that requires two hands to get, pull it apart. This happens a lot with cured meats like prosciutto or vegetables attached to a stem like broccoli. Your friends are hungry and as someone who is constantly hungry myself, the worst thing ever is having to take a break from shoveling food into my mouth to use both hands to break a thing of grapes off their larger stem. While it’s not necessary to sit there and pull off each grape (bc who has time for that? also those suckers would just roll wherever the hell they want), just break smaller bunches off, stack them together, and call it good.
Aim to have at least 4 colors on your cheeseboard.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Green: grapes, snap peas, celery, broccoli, olives, cornichons, rosemary sprigs
- Red: cured meats, strawberries, raspberries, cherry tomatoes, grapes, sliced bell pepper
- Orange: sliced bell pepper, sliced oranges, carrots, dried apricots
- Yellow: sliced bell pepper, cheese
- Beige/White: crackers, bread, cheese, ranch dressing, hummus, tzatziki, baba ghanoush, jicama, cauliflower
- Black/Dark: blackberries, blueberries, jelly, dark grapes, black olives, purple carrots
Don’t put like colors directly next to each other.
As you start putting everything altogether, you can put like colors across the board from each other. If you have a lot of one color, just make sure there are other piles of different-colored food in between to give your board some visual interest.
Fill in the gaps.
This is my favorite tip because it’s a make-or-break one. A good cheeseboard looks decadent not sparse, and the trick to creating that is to fill in all the little blank spaces between your piles of food. Doing this makes the whole thing look cohesive and v impressive IMO.
Once you start, you’ll see it’s really not that hard and you are equally as capable as your IG cheeseboard idols. So try these and def let us know how ya feel after you & your friends chow down.