• Image credit: Hither and Thither.

The chic and easy cheese board checklist

The easy-peasy days of Coon, cocktail onions and Jatz are far behind us, and now our nibbles are expected to be in the manner-of Bon Appetit magazine! Here’s a checklist to creating a chic and easy cheeseboard you can call on time and time again.

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We seem to have guests in-and-out of here at the moment, which for me means wine and some bloody good cheese boards on-the-ready. The easy-peasy days of Coon, cocktail onions and Jatz are far behind us.  Now our nibbles are expected to be in the manner-of Bon Appetit!

Our cheese boards should be Pin-worthy and impressive enough to star in their own Facebook update. Cheesus – the pressure!

Here’s a checklist of what you need ready in the kitchen should someone come a-knocking.

CHEESE CHECKLIST

An old, hard cheese- like a Cheddar, a salty Parmigiano-Reggiano, Quesa de Manchego or Gruyère.

A ripe, gooey whiffy thing – Triple Cream Brie or a Camembert. Know that the older the cheese, the oozier it is.

Big and blue – think Stilton or a magnificent Tarago River Gippland Blue. Bluer-the-better really.

Something fresh and mild – Burrata, ricotta or feta.

A little Goat – or chèvre (i.e fresh goat cheese).

CHEESE SERVING NOTES

Cheese should not be served cold. Always take out of the fridge an hour or so before serving.

Add crackers – keep them plain and simple so as not to interfere with the flavours of the cheese.

When styling your board, keep the whiffier cheeses well away from the milder ones to prevent them absorbing that strong, cheesy smell.

Always supply each cheese with its own knife. I mean, who wants their Blue meddling with their Chevre!

CHEESE SERVING SUGGESTIONS

For a pretty presentation, add wedges of apple, pear, some grapes, pomegranate seeds and fresh figs.

Add dried fruits, like apricots, figs and dates for a more rustic look and intense flavour.

Olives, cornichons and proscuitto are all ideal for a quick and tasty up-style.

A quince or plum paste is irresistible with a soft cheese like a White Castella or a really creamy, oozy Brie.

Add a jelly or a preserve on the side. It looks chic is its little bottle and adds perfect sweetness to a salty cheese.

Drizzle honey and honeycomb over your Camembert or Brie. A sprinkle of toasted almonds gives great crunch and looks super-impressive.

Elizabeth Clarke is a stylist and fashion and beauty writer with a penchant for travel and good food. Based in Perth, she is a contributor to ELLE Australia, Grazia International, Sydney Morning Herald, The West Australian and Pepper Passport. She has worked with glossy, high profile women like Miranda Kerr, Kristy Hinze, Jemima Khan and Donna Hay, and has hosted fashion launches for clients including Burberry, David Jones and Gucci. She is currently writing her first book; a manual and holy grail for modern mothers.

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