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If you’re a lover of savory flavors, an exquisite cheese board might just be the way to the sublime. Done right, a beautiful plate of cheese is a delight of tastes and textures to experience and savor— a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. And the surface it’s served on—the cheese board itself— is of utmost importance. A well-considered board or platter is a canvas for the presentation, tying it all together to create a culinary experience.
A cheese board is more than just a selection of cheeses—it’s an experience for the senses. So, when putting together a cheese plate, the surface should be as thoughtful as the food itself. Wood, slate, marble, glass, and agate all make stellar backdrops. And while the size is a factor to take into account, finding a cheese board that’s right for you ultimately comes down to personal style- and there are many winning styles out there to choose from!
Read on for the best cheese boards.
Best Overall: Brooklyn Slate Natural Slate Cheese Board Set
It’s all happening in this cheese board set from Brooklyn Slate. The kit comes complete with all the fixings needed to make an expert cheese plate. From the all-natural slate board to the hand-carved cheese knife, soapstone pencil for labeling cheeses, and mineral oil for preserving the board—it’s all included. So the only thing you’ll need to do is choose the cheese!
Best Set: Uncommon Goods Personalized Compact Swivel Cheese Board
What makes this set so awesome? First off, its design was inspired by a wedge of cheese that transforms into a tiered serving platter. Plus, it comes with utensils that tuck away in a drawer. And it can be personalized—need we say more?
Best Small Size: Floor 9 Small Marble Board & Spreader
Small but mighty, this cheese board shouldn’t be underestimated! It’s ideal for serving a single stand-out cheese at a party or enjoying a savory nibble solo with a glass of wine. Available in black or white marble, it comes with a chic brass spreader that makes it simply elegant—and super useful!
Best Oversized: Terrain Oversized Rectangle Wood Serving Board
Whether you have a robust assortment of cheeses for a party or are putting together a charcuterie board with all of the accouterments, this oversized board provides a perfect canvas for a mouth-watering presentation. Crafted in Mexico out of native wood, the board comes in black and brown and has a modern-rustic vibe.
Best Splurge: Anna New York Kiva Platter Pure Silver
Serving cheese on a gemstone may sound like something from a fantasy novel, but happily, it’s a thing! Each stone is framed in pure silver and offers up the healing properties that the natural stone is said to impart. Choose from rose quartz (the stone of love!), sodalite, or crystal.
Best Smooth Wood: Domain by Laura Hodges Studio Sapele Cutting/Charcuterie Board with Curved Handle
Wooden boards are wonderful backdrops for cheese and charcuterie plates. And this one is so much more than just a piece of wood. Each one is handmade in a small one-woman shop by Frankie Jolise Farrow from solid sapele— a wood that’s indigenous to Africa and similar to mahogany. When it isn’t busy showing off cheese, it can be hung on the wall as a stunning art piece.
Best Dome: Jung Lee LSA Ivalo Dome & Ash Base
A medley of materials and textures come together in this elegant domed cheese board. Natural ash wood, mouth-blown glass, and hand-knotted leather create a sophisticated, organic plate that’s a chic centerpiece for a table.
Choosing a cheeseboard comes down to function—what do you need it for— and style— how do you want it to look. For a one-and-done cheese board, we recommend the Brooklyn Slate Natural Slate Cheese Board Set. It comes with a high-quality slate slab for cheeses, a hand-carved wooden spreader, soapstone pencil, and mineral oil for preserving the slate—it’s all there, and it’s all top-quality. We love the LSA Ivalo Dome & Ash Base for its timeless, chic aesthetic and functionality— the dome helps to maintain the humidity for cheese and keeps the plate fresh. And we can’t help but covet the over-the-top Anna New York Kiva Platter Pure Silver with its beautiful gemstone surface and glam silver edge.
What to look for when making a cheese board
Putting together a well-rounded cheese board is all about having a variety of flavors and textures represented. Cheese, charcuterie, savory and sweet elements, bread or crackers, and garnishes are all excellent elements for a well-considered plate.
Choose a board
Wood, slate, marble, and stone are all excellent surfaces to serve cheese on. When selecting a board, consider size— if it’s for a larger event, something like a paddle might be the best choice while a smaller plate is better suited for a more intimate gathering.
Select the cheeses
Try and include a variety of textures and flavors. Having a selection of goat, blue, aged, hard, and soft cheeses make for a well-balanced palate.
Add in charcuterie
Charcuterie just a fancy word for cured meat—think prosciutto, salami, mortadella, capicola, sopressata, or chorizo. Having just one type of cured meat is ideal for a smaller cheese plate, while an assortment of up to four or five works for a larger cheese plate.
Mix in sweet and savory elements
Olives, tapenades, artichokes, pickles, roasted peppers, nuts, and mustards are all great savory elements. For sweet, think seasonal and dried fruits, honey, preserves, chutney, candied nuts, and chocolate.
Add bread or crackers
Sliced baguettes, bread with dried fruit, breadsticks, and a variety of crackers are all great options. We suggest including a small assortment for guests to choose from.
Finish with garnishes
Finish it with garnishes that suit the season or the occasion. Herbs, edible flowers, and additional fruit all make excellent finishing touches.
Labeling the cheeses is an expert touch that adds to the experience and lets guests know what they’re getting. Plus, if they love cheese, they may want to add a new favorite to the list.
Bringing the cheeses to room temperature before serving is the key to letting their flavors shine.
And lastly, make sure to include cheese knives, spreaders, toothpicks, and napkins so guests can enjoy the cheese plate with ease.
What are the best cheeses to include in a cheese board?
The best cheeses for a cheese board? All of them! But seriously, narrowing it down to a few choice pieces that represent a variety of flavors and textures makes for an excellent board. We suggest choosing cheeses from different families— goat, blue, aged, hard, and soft cheeses all deserve a spot on the plate. And don’t be shy about asking your local cheesemonger for help choosing an assortment that works well together for some expert advice.
What types of charcuterie should you include for a meat and cheese board?
Charcuterie sounds fancy, but it’s just another word for cured meat. It adds a lovely, rich, savory layer to a cheeseboard. Prosciutto, capicola, salami, mortadella, sopressata, and chorizo are all excellent choices for a cheese plate. Include just one or a variety of up four or five for a larger board.
Why trust Brides?
Brides contributor Elizabeth MacLennan has been scouring marketplaces around the world— and web—hunting down that just right object for over 15 years as a prop stylist. Read: she’s seen just about everything when it comes to goods for the tabletop! And cheese is her number one guilty pleasure. With a discerning eye and astute mind, she considers quality, function, and design when she’s vetting products.