You Are What You Eat: Cheeseboards
Cheese boards are like the grown-up version of a pick-and-mix candy stand. They’re versatile, aesthetically pleasing, and, of course, utterly delicious. But more than that, they’re about taking a moment for yourself—to relax, unwind, and enjoy the finer things in life.
At the heart of every great cheese board is, of course, great cheese. And what better way to support local businesses, celebrate our dairy heritage, and be eco-conscious than by using Irish cheeses? With over 50 artisan cheese makers dotted throughout the country, there’s no shortage of delicious options to choose from. So, whether you’re on a staycation or just out and about, make sure to grab some local cheese for your next cheese board extravaganza.
But when is the best time to serve a cheese board? In France, cheese isn’t typically served as an appetizer, but rather at an apéro (or apéritif)—a casual social gathering where drinks and snacks are served. In fact, the French enjoy cheese in moderation, savoring the quality over quantity. Eating a little bit of high-quality cheese after your main meal will allow you to feel more satisfied, resulting in eating less cheese overall.
That being said, I’m a firm believer in dessert first, cheese second. Why not relax, kick off your shoes, and prepare for a long, leisurely meal with good company, good wine, and good cheese? After all, who says you can’t enjoy dessert and cheese together?
Now, onto the most important part: creating the perfect cheese board. To start, choose a decent-sized board that will comfortably hold all of your cheeses and leave room for some decorative touches. A cheese board adds a certain air of occasion to any meal, so take the time to make it look beautiful. Use fresh fruit like grapes, whole or halved figs, and fresh green foliage for decoration. For a rustic touch, the Spanish love to pair dried fruit and nuts with cheese. Semi-dried apricots and dried apple or pear pieces are excellent options.