Th Art of The Cheese Board

I come from a long and proud line of cheese lovers. Never once did a holiday or major family gathering happen without the humongous "Cheese and Pepperoni Tray", a staple in the average Italian New Jerseyian's diet.

My brother and I would compete to see who could eat the most cheese, and still have normal digestive function the next day. (He won.) But it wasn't until I moved out on my own that I realized that there were other cheeses than Mozarella, swiss, cheddar, provolone and Velveeta. In fact, I had no idea that actual mozarella came in little delicious balls and not in plastic wrapped chunks, or that Velveeta, as useful as it is, is not actually "cheese". My eyes were open to a big (and tasty) new world.

The Cheese Board is as unique and mysterious as the person who creates it, but it is easy to get intimidated at the thousands of marvelous varieties of cheese from around the world. My advice is to start simple - ask your favorite deli or specialty grocery for a sample and ease you way into the world of cheese.

I have helped design numerous cheese boards over the years-from simple to elegant-displayed on boards, planks, marble slabs, trays, mirrors and any other type of surface you can think of, and guide my clients to think of the event type and the other dishes being served when selecting cheese varieties. You can keep it simple with domestic varieties, or add some exotic imported types, but either way, you want to try and keep a balance of sharp and mild flavors.

Eddie Ross, Lifestyle expert, suggests using several cheeses of varying textures, colors and heights to your cheese board to add visual interest, much like you would an entire buffet. He also recommends using chutneys as a compliment to hard cheeses. (A chutney is a type of condiment associated with South Asian cuisine. They are made from a highly variable mixture of spices, vegetables, and/or fruit.)

Are you ready to design a cheese board? Here are some great links to get you started:

7 Secrets To a Beautiful Cheese Board

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