Say Cheese

How to create a cheese board that’s simply sublime.

JULIE CASSOTTA knows everything there is to know about how to assemble an enticing cheese board. Formerly a cheesemonger in Los Angeles, she now runs Cellar Door Platters, a Sacramento company that creates and delivers custom cheese and charcuterie boards that resemble works of art. We asked Cassotta to share her tips on putting together the perfect platter.

Mix it up. Serve a variety of textures, flavors and milk types. That means both hard and soft cheeses; cheeses that are alternately sweet, tart, funky and sharp; and cheeses made from cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk.

cheese board

Go high and low. Create differing heights for drama and visual interest. Cut a wedge of cheese in half and stack the halves. Use dishware in different sizes and shapes to corral items such as nuts, olives, jams and preserves.

Make it easy. Crumble or slice hard cheeses such as cheddar, so guests don’t have to fumble with a knife.

Offer choices. In addition to cheese, provide cured meats, bread and crackers, olives, nuts and condiments so guests can assemble their own bites.

Fill in the spaces. To create a sense of abundance, fold slices of charcuterie rather than lay them flat. To finish the platter, insert fresh herbs into nooks and crannies.

Serve at room temp. Take your cheese board out of the fridge one hour before guests arrive. A cheese board can safely sit out for four hours.

Styled by Cellar Door Platters.

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