If there’s one thing that Wisconsin is known for, it’s their delicious cheese. I fell in love with cheese and making cheese and charcuterie boards while living in Madison, Wisconsin, where they so beautifully display cheese and charcuterie at restaurants and specialty stores. There’s a certain art to it, and every year, for the holidays, my family looks forward to my cheese boards!
Special Equipment: little dishes, ramekins, cheese knives, small forks and tongs.
Technique Tip: Cut the cheese while it’s cold; it will be easier to slice. Prepare the cheese board about an hour before your guests arrive. Cheese is better enjoyed at room temperature.
- 6 or more small wedges of different Wisconsin cheese (cheddar, Gruyere/Grand Cru, Gouda, buttermilk blue cheese, Havarti and a spicy variation like Sriracha Gouda or chipotle cheddar)
- Various types of charcuterie (such as salami, proscuitto, soppresseta, Spanish chorizo and summer sausage)
- Green and black olives
- Cornichons, a variety of pickled vegetables and/or sweety drop peppers
- Crackers and/or sliced baguette bread (different shapes, textures and flavors work well)
- Nuts, marcona almonds and caramelized pecans
- Jams or preserves
- Dried or fresh, in-season fruit like pomegranate, grapes or fig
- Edible flowers or fresh herbs, for decoration
1. Start with the cheese: Using a large wood board or tray, visualize and lay down where you are going to place your cheeses. Cut and slice your cheeses into different shapes. Feel free to leave some wedges whole and place a small cheese knife next to it.
2. Arrange your different types of charcuterie in piles and arrange around or next to your cheeses. If using thin salami and soppressata, feel free to fold the pieces and stack them in order to arrange them in an interesting pattern on your board.
3. Using tiny dishes or small ramekins, place them where you want on the board and fill them with olives, cornichons and other pickled items and the jam or preserves. Alternatively, if you have small jars, you can leave the jars close to the board and just leave a little knife next to it.
4. Arrange the crackers and/or sliced baguette bread in different sections on the board.
5. Add in the nuts and almonds and fresh or dried fruit, filling in any empty spaces on the board.
6. Use the edible flowers or fresh herbs as decoration on your cheese board. Serve with little plates and cheese knives and tongs.