le journal

How To Make The Ultimate French Cheese Board

How To Make The Ultimate French Cheese Board

Every "Hostess with the Mostest" knows that offering guests a delicious cheese board complements a small dinner party perfectly. We don’t think there’s anyone on the planet that doesn’t enjoy cheese. A wonderful array of cheeses with the right accompaniments makes for an impressive presentation and best of all, is the simplest appetizer to prepare. Spend fewer hours in the kitchen and enjoy quality time with your guests!

However, if you’ve ever stood in the cheese section of any grocery store, you’re aware that creating a fantastic cheese board can be rather intimidating. There are hundreds of cheeses from all over the world and apparently, some of the very best ones smell dreadful!

How can you even begin to narrow it down?

Breathe! Once you've regained your composure, remember these 5 easy tips we've put together for creating the ultimate cheese board. Bring a little bit of Provence to your next fête!

1) The Platter

Choose a platter large enough to fit all your cheeses. For cocktails and dinner parties, a marble platter adds a hint of elegance. Wooden boards are perfect for a casual gathering, allow for easy cutting and are so naturally pretty. 

Grab Your Favorite Marble Board

2) The Cheeses

French Cheese Board

What to buy?

When creating a cheese board, offer your guests 3 to 5 kinds of cheese so they can experience a variety of flavors and textures. We suggest including at least one familiar type, as well as a more unique cheese.

• Begin with a soft-ripened cheese such as Brie, made from cow’s milk. Its rich flavor and creamy consistency will be sure to inspire their taste buds!

• Experiment with texture by choosing a Comté or a Gruyère. The longer they are aged, the better they are. So, be sure to ask your cheese-monger! With their mild and sweet flavor, these hard cheeses are always crowd pleasers.

• Try the king of blue cheese, Roquefort and savor the punchy and distinct flavor.

• Incorporating goat cheese like Chèvre to your spread will enhance variety and boasts a tart and earthy flavor.

How much cheese should you get?

The folks at TheKitchn suggest 1 to 1 ½ ounces of each cheese per person. They advise that if you’re only serving cheese for hors d’oeuvres, factor 1 ½ oz. of each cheese per person. But if you’re providing a large assortment of appetizers, you can estimate less. Similarly, if you’re serving 5 cheeses, round down but for 3 cheeses, round up.

• Try the king of blue cheese, Roquefort and savor the punchy and distinct flavor.

• Incorporating goat cheese like Chèvre to your spread will enhance variety and boasts a tart and earthy flavor.

3) The Pairings

Most French people do not serve many sides with their cheeses, apart from the sacred baguette and maybe some grapes. However, we say have fun with the extras!

Cheese boards are like collages by offering the opportunity to be artistic and create a plate that is ripe with color and texture. In addition to a fresh baguette and grapes, you may wish to include nuts, fresh or dried fruits, crackers, jams, and a side of honey. Ignite your imagination!

4) Temperature Matters

Make sure that you take the cheeses out of the fridge at least half an hour before serving. The cold neutralizes the flavor and will ruin the creaminess of your soft cheeses.

5) Serving Tips

• Arrange cheeses from the mildest to the strongest. If you want to serve a pungent cheese, place it on a separate plate so it doesn’t overpower more delicate ones.

• Set out a separate knife for each cheese, especially the soft varieties. Soft cheese spreads well with a butter knife while firm cheese might require a paring knife and aged cheese often requires a cheese plane.

• Label each cheese so you won’t need to recite the names all evening. If you like, jot down a few poetic adjectives describing each flavor.

• Be sure to provide small plates and pretty napkins for your guests.

• Lastly, you’ll want to serve a variety of wine that will go hand-in-hand with the cheese you’re serving. Since wine-cheese pairing possibilities seem to be endless and would most definitely require an additional blog post on the subject...We'll put a cork in it for now. But we do suggest checking out The Serious Eats Cheese and Wine Cheat Sheet. They provide a few basic guidelines which will bring match-making success.





Bonus: Compliment Your Cheese Board with a French Tablecloth or Set of Napkins





We’d love to see how your cheese board creations turn out! Please tag us on Instagram with @couleurnature. Wishing you many fun gatherings with family and friends. Bon Appetit!