Mmmm. Cheeeese. Some might argue it’s one of the best foods ever created. And by “some”, we mean all of us at Teaselwood Farms.
Cheese is the ultimate food suitor – it pairs amazingly with so many other yummy goodies, both sweet and savory. Fresh bread, sweet grapes, grainy crackers, local honey, olives, smoked meats, nuts, not to mention wine? Infinite palate perfection. Whether we’re having company over or just hanging with the family, you can bet the cutting board is out and sitting atop it is a delectable mound of cheeses. Speaking of cutting boards, it makes sense that one of our very favorite items in the shop is… drum roll please… yes, our wide variety of cutting boards to slice (note: we didn’t say “cut”) and serve cheese, glorious cheese. Our cutting boards are hand carved upon order right here at our farm workshop! These one-of-a-kind beauties are available in a wide assortment of styles, too – European , paddle board, heart-shaped, pizza peel , etc – and a handful of woods to choose from – maple, walnut, cherry or ash.
Now back to the good stuff, the cheese. The question is, how do you create the perfect platter? There really is no wrong answer. (OK, pairing goat cheese and Captain Crunch might be relatively disgusting, but you get the idea.) Here are some fantastic guidelines for achieving cheeseboard nirvana (yes, it’s really a thing… At least at our house it is):
Cheeseboard making 101:
1. Pick your platter Choose a no muss, no fuss, knife- and mess-friendly serving dish… i.e. a stunning, cutting board from yours truly for our cheese platter we used our presentation board.
2. Get shopping: A variety of cheeses (4-5 should work; any more than that and your guests and plate may be overwhelmed!): Aged Cheddar, Brie, Camembert, Goat Cheese, Gouda, Gorgonzola, Parmigiano-Reggiano you are always safe. As always, we highly encourage you to support local business with your purchases. We search our local farmers market and our local grocery stores local section to find local farms. A few amazing places we have uncovered to try in CNY are Meadow Wood Farm , Ithaca Milk and Muranda Cheese . We are also a big fan of Vermont cheeses and consider them to be local since they are right next door? A few of our favorite is Vermont Creamery and Consider Bardwell Farm . Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the cheesemonger (read: expert on all things cheese) while you’re there in order to make the best selection for your entertaining/cheese-eating event!
3. Friends of le Fromage: Choose your accompanying treats wisely, to maximize flavor and texture. Go for a solid mix of…
- Crunch: A few crackers and breads like bakery-fresh baguette, seedy bread sticks, grainy toasts. We found a great local brand of local Crackers from Talbott and Arding Seeded Spelt Crackers soooo good.
- Salty tartness: A selection of olives and mini pickles
- Ooey gooey sweetness: Jams, jellies, local honey, preserves
- Smoked deliciousness: Cured meats like salami or prosciutto.
- Fruity tang: Fresh seasonal fruits like pears, berries, apples, you name it, or dried fruits like apples, cherries, figs, or apricots
- Savory goodness: Nuts such as almonds, cashews, pistachios, etc
And, pssst! Here’s a little serving tip: For optimal flavor, take the platter out an hour or so before your guests arrive – the coldness from the fridge actually masks the flavor of the cheese otherwise!
Oh, and be sure to have a bottle of wine (or Prosecco) on hand to truly top off the sensory experience!
There you have it, a beginner’s guide to a splendid snack dish this holiday season. We hope this inspires many luscious concoctions as you delve into the wide world of cheeseboards.
What about you – what are you favorite pairings when it comes to your own cutting board creations? Did we leave anything off the list that you love?