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Master Holiday Entertaining with Tips from Cheesemongers

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MONROE, Wis., Nov. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — A well-appointed, picture-perfect cheese board is an exciting holiday appetizer. Creating professional-looking boards at home can be easy if you know insider tips. To help holiday hosts create impressive cheese boards, Emmi Roth, a leading producer of specialty cheese, has teamed up with cheesemongers from around the country to create five inspirational cheese boards and share tips and tricks for selecting and arranging cheeses and accoutrements like a pro. 

Selecting and Cutting Cheese

The beauty of a cheese board is that it offers guests the opportunity to taste and sample cheeses they’re not familiar with. When selecting cheese for your board, choose three to five different options with a mix of bold, spicy and mild flavors. An alpine-style cheese, like Roth® Grand Cru®, is a perfect cheese to start with because it’s complex, yet mild enough to be a crowd-pleaser. Next, choose a cheese with a bold flavor or spice, like Roth® Sriracha Gouda, a spicy Dutch-style cheese made with Sriracha chili sauce and rubbed with crushed red peppers. Also, serving a mixture of domestic and international cheeses adds depth to boards and often leads to conversation about how the flavor can change depending on where the milk comes from and the region where the cheese is produced.

Equally-portioned, cleanly cut pieces of cheese give a professional look to any cheese board. Select cheeses that can be cut into congruent shapes like triangles and tiles to create striking patterns. For cheeses that can’t be uniformly cut, Lilith Spencer of Cheesemongers of Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico recommends hollowing out the center of the cheese and leaving the rind intact to create a “dish” which can be used to hold chunks or crumbles of the cheese.

Picking Perfect Pairings

While the star of your cheese board is the cheese, perfectly selected pairings are critical. 

“Cheese boards should always feature an assortment of sweet and savory pairing options,” said Jessica Lawrenz, cheesemonger at Venissimo Cheese – Mission Hills in San Diego, California. “Seasonal fruits, jams, local honeys, salty cured meats, pickled items and nuts are quintessential for cheese boards, as they add flavor and texture.”

“When desired fresh fruits aren’t in season, opt for dried ones,” said Ellian Rohrbacher, assistant manager at New Seasons in Portland, Oregon. “Dried figs, apricots and cherries are wonderful additions to cheese boards because they not only offer a sweet bite, but also a pop of

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