This post is sponsored by Sargento. They offered to send me lots of cheese to taste... who'd say no to that?
They asked me to share my favorite of their cheeses with you and present them with things that compliment their delicate/sharp/creamy flavors, so... I created a cheese board brimming with goodies.
I'm more likely to serve a platter like this before a dinner party rather than complicated hors d'oeuvres. There are a couple of reasons for this - I love how easy it is, just assembling, and I love how pretty and bountiful a great cheese board looks... which is the ultimate key of creating a really appetizing cheese board - bounty.
I think food looks best when it is piled together, overflowing, spilling over and drizzled on top. Bounty. I love creating platters of any kind - they are the perfect way to create something beautiful in a rustic and wholesome manner. And, seriously, you can't mess them up.
Here are a couple of my tips :
Use complimentary flavors and textures. I selected Sargento Tastings cheeses that look and taste different, then paired them with items that bring out their natural flavors. These small tasting sized cheeses are a nice way to be able to feature a variety of cheeses without a huge investment.
Stick with simple flavors, then let your guests combine cheeses with different nuts a fruits as they like.
Make sure all of the items on the board go together - my rule is to keep the complimentary elements consistent. This platter is brimming with fruits and nuts. Notice that there are no olives. For this board, I was going for a classic cheese board with sweet compliments to the savory cheeses. Olives would be a nice addition to an Italian or Greek themed board, but would interfere here.
I started by placing the cheese on the board, alternating their direction and using various shapes and colors.
I tried to place complimentary colors and flavors next to each other. This green pear is a classic compliment to Age Wisconsin Cheddar. Bunches of grapes are a great way to add height and fill out a cheese board - they pile beautifully.
This is the Sargento New Zealander (Egmont) cheese that is creamy and sharp at the same time. Egmont provides an interesting and fun juxtaposition of sweet and nutty flavors. To compliment the creamy cheese, I piled chopped pistachios on top - and to keep the color palette consistent... very important : )
For the Aged Vermont White Cheddar, I drizzled honey over it and piled giant blackberries next to it - one of my favorite combinations. It is delicately ripened for 12 months in the lush grasslands of Vermont to bring out its unique, matured taste. The flavor can be described as brothy and savory with a firm, dry texture.
This little touch adds so much luxury and indulgence.
I filled the board in with some crackers and unshelled pistachios for extra texture.