How to make the ultimate cheese board

I have a dear friend who can make a sensational cheese board out of the remnants in her refrigerator. Bits of cheese, some loose grapes, scrape out the last of the homemade quince paste into a small bowl, toast the ends of the baguette. She never fails to please.

But what are the tricks to putting a good cheese board together? Surely it's more complicated than just opening four different packets of supermarket cheese.

A good cheese plate is a simple entertaining idea. Picture: Shutterstock

A good cheese plate is a simple entertaining idea. Picture: Shutterstock

Cheese aficionado Will Studd says the only skills required are a little imagination, a little care, and a good cheese supplier.

"The conventional cheese assortment consists of between three and five types of cheese, and includes a soft, a blue, and a hard cheese," he writes on his website.

"But there is nothing to say you can't use a single type of cheese either; for example blue cheeses made from cow, goat and ewes milk, matched with a dessert wine."

He says to talk to the cheese supplier about what cheese is at its best, as well as its pedigree.

The Australian Grand Dairy Awards are presented each January. Here's a few to look out for.

Washed rind cheese: Tasmanian Heritage Red Square, enjoy with fresh figs on a crusty baguette.

Cheddar: Bega Heritage Reserve Vintage Cheddar, only available from the Bega Heritage Centre in Bega.

Blue cheese: King Island Dairy Roaring 40s blue, named the best cheese in the country in 2019.

White mould: Apostle Whey Cheese Southern Briez, a brie style cheese best served alongside fresh figs and hazelnuts.

Semi-hard: Dellendale Creamery Torndirrup Appenzelle, this cheese releases complex nut, butterscotch and sweet pineapple notes on the palate.

Serve alongside a selection of breads, including sliced baguette, bread sticks, and crackers in all different shapes and sizes. It's a good idea to vary taste and texture among the breads as well as the cheeses.

Take the cheese out of the fridge about two to three hours before serving, cheese is best served at around 15C. Work on about 50g per person, but don't overdo it. And put out a separate knife for each cheese.

This story How to make the ultimate cheese board first appeared on The Canberra Times.