Crudites and cheese boards tend to be an afterthought (especially if you’re hosting a dinner and have a million other things on your plate). But here at Air & Anchor, we really love a good charcuterie board, so we asked our friend Stephen from Not Another Cooking Show to tell us how to craft it just right.
You may be wondering — why a cheeseboard? Well first-off, who doesn't like cheese… unless you are vegan or dairy free (they get a pass). An appetizer cheese board brings friends and family together to enjoy the little moments. You can be adventurous and try a new cheese or you can stick with ol’ reliable cheddar cheese. It’s time to slow down and get a good laugh and enjoy a solid cheese board.
Stephen says it’s all about the ingredients – and we couldn’t agree more. Think about your cheese board as an extension of the meal. You don’t want anything too heavy. You want flavor. You want to build a little excitement. Believe it or not, there are a few strategies when it comes to building your board.
For any good cheese plate, you’re going to want at least three different cheeses. Generally, one hard, one soft and creamy, and one a little funky. We love shopping local cheeses – and yes, it’s okay to get carried away. Stephen chose an aged cheddar, a gouda, and an aged blue cheese. But, the world is your cheese board.
- Barber’s Farmhouse Sweet Grass Fed English Cheddar
- 3-Year Aged Gouda
- Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog (an aged goat cheese with a mild blue cheese taste)
- Old Chatham Sheepherding, Co. Hudson Valley Camembert
At Air & Anchor, we consider creating the perfect charcuterie board an art, which is why we had to step things up a notch and create our own boards. We made a Weathered Oak Serving Board made from reclaimed oak boards and a Chestnut Serving Board hand-crafted from 100-year-old reclaimed chestnut boards. Like your upcoming creation, no two boards were made the same.
It all comes down to the assembly. The goal here is to give every guest access to the goodies – without having to reach or rotate the board. You’re going to start by cutting the cheeses into smaller triangles or any shape and spread them around your board. The goal is to down the cheeseboard into segments. It will look as though there are mini cheese boards within the one board you’re creating. Nice.
Now that the cheese is placed it's time for the good stuff. Okay, fine, it’s all good, but a true charcuterie board isn’t made until it has all the extras.
Extra’s to add… choose wisely:
- Beef Jerky (bet this one is new)
- Candied Pecans
- Salted Roasted Almonds
- Genoa Salami
- Fig Jam
And then you can’t forget the crackers, and if you’re feeling extra spicy toss on some herbs for a finishing touch.
It’s time to choose your favorite Air & Anchor charcuterie board and put on your chef’s hat. Cheese boards are the perfect way to enjoy life and be in the present. Don’t eat too much though if you are planning on having dinner later. Cheers… or should as we say, cheese!