How to Make a Cheese Board - Cheese 101

Introducing my video on How to Make a Cheese Board!

Just in time for the holidays, I'm sharing my video on How to Make a Cheese Board!  There are so many types of cheese and it can be hard to decide what to get.  I love to buy cheeses that are made locally because I think it's important to support local farmers but local cheese isn't always available.  Cheeses such as smoked gouda and Parmigiano Reggiano that are readily available at most grocery stores are also delicious on a cheese board.  

Putting together a cheese board is so easy and there aren't really any rules...just serve what you like and be creative.  Be sure to leave cheese out at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes before serving.

I made this cheese board for my Crazy Blonde Cooking Class and it was a big hit with everyone!

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Another example of a cheese board from Hudson's Birthday Party

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Below is a description of the categories of cheese.  I hope it will help when you pick cheese for your cheese board. 

Fresh Cheeses are ones without rinds such as goat cheese, fresh mozzarella, ricotta and cream cheese.  Try mixing fresh ricotta with honey and a little chopped rosemary!

Semi Soft Cheeses are cheeses such as Gouda, Provolone and Havarti.  These are great melting cheeses, but also delicious on a cheese board.

Semi Hard Cheeses include Cheddar, Edam and Gruyere.

Hard Cheeses grate beautifully and are stand outs on a cheese board.  Included in this category is Mimolette, which is a cow's milk cheese that has a bright orange color and is buttery, salty and nutty all at once.  Also included are Parmesan, and  Cojita (a Mexican cheese).  These cheeses are high in protein.

Washed Rind Cheeses (or stinky cheese) are bathed in a salty brine sometimes with a little beer, wine or liquor added.  The brine helps the cheese to form an edible redish orange rind around is soft or semi-soft interior.  Look for Taleggio, an Italian cheese, Limburger from Germany, Appenzeller, somewhat like a Gruyere from Switzerland and Vacherin Mont d'Or.  

Bloomy Rind Cheeses are cheeses that are purposely exposed to mold spores to create a fuzzy rind on the outside.  Brie and Camembert are in this category and the rind is edible.

Blue Cheese is in a category all it's own and people either love it or hate it.  Blue cheese is marked with blue mold and is pungent and delicious.  Stilton and Maytag are two excellent types of blue cheese.

Cheese can be ordered online if you live in an area where the selection isn't the best.  Zabar's has a huge selection of excellent cheeses and will ship directly to your door!  Also, if you want to learn more about cheese, read this article from Serious Eats!