Tips for a Delicious Cheese Board Display on a Budget
Don't Splurge on the Cheese
As much as splurging on many varieties of the creme de la creme of the cheese brands would make your board out of this world, it won't be kind on your pocket.
Instead of going all out on expensive cheeses, pick out at least four different types of affordable cheese from the grocery store or deli.
Get a few alternatives of soft cheeses like Havarti, Monterey Jack, Blue, or Brie.
Tip: Buy a little more of the cheaper kind and smaller bits of the more expensive cheeses.
Along with the soft varieties, include some types of hard cheeses like Cheddar, Swiss, Manchego, or Parmesan.
You don't have to buy the whole block. Some shops will sell small pieces of cheese ends.
If your grocery store doesn't have those on display, ask at the cheese counter if they can sell you the smaller off-cuts leftover from their bigger pieces.
Remember to buy only the edible parts of the cheese; avoid the ones with unedible rind.
The way you slice up and display the cheese makes it look more sophisticated.
Cut up the more expensive cheese varieties in long thin strips. You can alternate between rectangular strips and wedges that take up a bigger chunk of space on your board.
Arrange the strips in pinwheels, circles, or rectangular arrays to make your display more spectacular. That will cover for the fact that there's not much of it.
Fill up the board with more of the cheaper cheese varieties. You can cut them up into cubes and stack them up a little higher to make it look like there are lots of cheeses.
Don't Hold Back on the Accompaniments and Garnishes
The secret to creating an expensive-looking visual feast with your charcuterie board and still stick to a budget is in adding lots of accompaniments and garnishes.
Have as wide a variety of accompanying foods as you can get. Think about apples, olives, and any other fruits, nuts, and seeds you can lay your hands on. Be sure to buy lots of seasonal veggies and fresh fruits from the farmers’ market to add volume to your board.
Chop and dice your fruits and veggies into many different shapes. You can use small serving bowls to put your nuts and round fruits to make your board even more Instagram-worthy.
Besides the accompanying foods, cheap and simple condiments like jam and honey can take your cheese board to a whole new level. Check your refrigerator for any pickles, jams, and sauces you might have stashed in there, and add a little bit of each to your board.
When it comes to your carbohydrate, stretch your dollar a little more by buying cheaper crackers. Keep your cracker selection to cheaper brands of saltine crackers that won't cost you more than $5 per pack.
You can reduce the cost even more if you substitute specialty crackers for some good old bread. Get a few varieties of bread that blend well with wine and cheese, like baguettes. A baguette will cost you $2 or less compared to the $10 plus you would have paid for fancy crackers.
In fact, most breads work great with cheese as long as their flavors don't override the flavor of the cheese.
Look For Cheaper Meat
Don’t spend a fortune buying meat. Instead, choose a few cheaper varieties.
A variety or sample pack from your grocery store or deli will give you all the meat you need at a way lower price. You can get variety packs for as little as $5.
Also, walk into the deli and ask if you can buy the offcuts from their cold meats. Get little bits of expensive meats like mortadella and more of the cheaper kind like salami, prosciutto, and chorizo.
All you have to do is be cleverly cut and dice your meat and be artistic with your display.
Your cheese platter is as good as the surface you serve it on. Nothing will ruin your hard work more than using an unappealing surface.
You need a strong and beautiful wooden surface that will make your board come together perfectly.
Plus, it will be great to keep using the same wooden serving surface for all your cheese and wine servings for many years to come.
Invest in a good quality walnut wood serving surface from Virginia Boys Kitchen. You can choose from a wide range of cutting boards that can double up as cheese serving boards or take your pick from the beautiful selection of serving trays.