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Cheese Board Building “101”

Cheese Board Building “101”

We frequently hear customers say that they don’t know how to build a cheese board, but truthfully, we feel there’s no way you can go wrong!

For those who like guidelines, here are a few considerations when planning your next cheese board.

Choose a Theme 

A theme can help you get started. Here are some suggestions of our favorite cheese board themes.

  • Category or Age: Start with fresh or mild cheeses and build out to aged and robust cheeses.
  • Milk Variety: Offer a board featuring only goat’s milk cheeses, or offer a mix of goat, sheep and cow’s milk cheeses.
  • Shape and Color: This one is self explanatory, but some of the most beautiful cheese boards lean into a color scheme or offer a variety shapes and sizes.
  • Texture:  Choose a smooth and creamy, soft-ripened cheese, a smooth aged cheese and a hard aged cheese for a variety of textures.
  • Country Original: This could be domestic cheeses or cheeses from Europe.

Cheese Board

Choose the Accompaniments 

Consider charcuterie, jam, fresh and dried fruits, nuts, and chocolates to aid in enhancing the visual appeal and complexity of flavors and textures on the board.

  • Meat: Salami, Prosciutto, Speck, Chorizo, Pâté and Mousse Pâté
  • Jam, Honey and Mustard: Heinen’s Sour Cherry Spread, Heinen’s Fig Spread, Blueberry or alternative fruit jam, Lavender or Truffle Honey, Apple or Pumpkin Butter, Chutney, Pesto, Olive or Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade and flavored mustards
  • Fruit and Vegetables :
    • Fresh Fruit- Figs, Cherries, Grapes, Apples and Pears
    • Dried Fruit-  Figs, Apricots, Cherries, Plums, Peaches, Dates, Raisins, Cranberries and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
    • Fresh or Pickled Vegetables- Olives, Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Squash and Cornichons
  • Nuts: Marcona Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts and Hazelnuts
  • Chocolate or Cake: Chocolate-Dipped Citrus, Chocolate Chunks, Chocolate Embedded with Fruit and Nuts, chocolate Brittle or Bark, Fig and Nut Cake and Pressed and Dried Fruit cakes.
  • Breads & Crackers: Heinen’s Fruit Crisp Crackers, Heinen’s Plain Baguette, Grissini or Water Crackers.

Determine The Size

  • For tastings or small plates, plan to serve 1 oz. per person of 5-7 cheeses. Add 3 accompaniments.
  • For an appetizer, plan to serve 1-2 oz. per person of 3-5 cheeses. Include 1-2 accompaniments.
  • For a dessert service cheese course served after a meal, plan to serve 1-1.5 oz. per person of 3-4 cheeses. We recommend 2-3 accompaniments, including a fresh fruit.

Cheese Board


Cheese on a cheese board is at its best when consumed at room temperature. Don’t be afraid to let the cheese board presentation sit out at room temperature lightly covered for 1-1.5 hours before serving.

Most importantly, remember that there is no right or wrong when it comes to building a great cheese board. It is what you make it, so have fun, enjoy the process and make it your own!

Anne Somoroff

By Anne Somoroff

Anne Somoroff is the Specialty Cheese Buyer and Merchandiser at Heinen’s and has been with the team for 13 years. Anne has an extensive background in the cultural arts, visual arts and merchandising, including a degree in Archaeology/Anthropology, with a Fine Arts emphasis. With interests deeply rooted in global and edible culture as they pertain to specialty cheese, wine and the culinary arts, Anne is a passionate, life-long student and a seeker of the connections between people, culture, food and drink. Anne enjoys people, travel, food, and the arts, and incorporates these interests into her everyday life.

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