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Spread & Co.’s Tips for Crafting the Perfect Cheese Board

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Spread & Co. Co-owner Rosemary Ewald shares her favorite cheesy tips. 

By Rosemary Ewald, Photos by Julia Keim

MIX IT UP.

Don’t discriminate! You want to have a range of different milks (i.e., cow, sheep, goat, water buffalo, maybe a mixed milk cheese), textures, flavor, etc. At Spread & Co., we usually like to use a soft, bloomy-rind cheese; a blue; an approachable cheddar and a semi-firm cheese or Alpine cheese.

Rosemary Ewald - Spread & Co.
Rosemary Ewald

A few of our favorites include:

Blue 

CKC Farms’ Baby Blue 

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company’s Bay Blue

Jasper Hill Farm’s Bayley Hazen Blue 

Carr Valley Cheese Company’s Penta Creme 

Semi-firm/Firm

Milton Creamery’s Flory’s Truckle 

Parish Hill Creamery’s Reverie 

Soft and Bloomy

Sweet Grass Dairy’s Green Hill 

Tulip Tree Creamery’s Trillium

THINK OUTSIDE THE RIND.

Beyond the obvious items (cheese), we also like to add charcuterie, nuts, fresh fruit, jams, mustards, honey, pickles and dehydrated fruits. Charcuterie—essentially cured meats from different parts of the animal—range widely in tastes and textures, anything from a soft pate de foie gras to a hard salami. We usually like to use salami and prosciutto because they’re both delicious and easy to work with, but I must note that I am a huge fan of pates, which consist of cooked meat, oftentimes liver, that is blended with fat, wine, herbs and spices, then pureed into a spreadable paste. They are so decadent and wonderful and will definitely add an extra boost of refinement and sophistication to your plate.

Something we get asked all the time is, “What pairs best with what?” It’s important to note fresh food will always have the fullest flavors and create the most enjoyable pairings. Spread & Co. is unique in the fact that we make all our pickles, jams, mustards and dehydrated fruits from scratch to ensure maximum freshness and happy taste buds. 

A few tried-and-true pairings:

soft and bloomy cheeses + berry jam 

blue cheese + dark chocolate

aged cheeses + nuts 

washed rinds, smelly cheeses and cheddars + pickles and whole-grain mustard

EXPERIMENT.

To make things short and simple: Don’t be scared! Try out different combinations because really there are no rules for pairing. If it tastes good to you, then it works. Place things that pair well together in close vicinity on the board, mix up flavors and textures, break up different colors and you’re good to go.

DON’T OVERDO IT.

How much cheese and charcuterie should you lay out per person? We usually go by 1.5 ounces and .75 ounce of cheese and charcuterie, respectively, per person (or about 2 to 2.5 ounces combined). But there are no rules here either. It just depends on how hungry your guests are or whether you’re serving other food later on.

WARM IT UP.

Remember, cheese is best served at room temperature. Bring your board out of the fridge about an hour before serving. This way, you’ll be sure to get all the good flavors. 

Enjoy! And let us know where your charcuterie adventures take you.


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