Cheese Boards to Make You Feel Like You Have Your Shit Together

Cheese is one of the coolest things on earth – it is history, and science, and creativity. Every wheel is special, and they each rely on a lot of hard work and passion from farmers, cheesemakers, affineurs (cheese-agers), and cheesemongers (cheese-sellers, like me!) around the world for years and years to eventually make it to your plate.

But just because every wheel is special, doesn’t mean that good cheese should be reserved just for special occasions. I’m a big believer in making good cheese accessible to everyone who wants it, whenever they want it. Because really, we all deserve fancy cheese just because it’s Wednesday.

When it comes to cheese boards and pairings, I don’t really buy into the idea that there are any real “rules” to it. If you like two things together, guess what, they go together! You did it, you made a pairing! I personally love to eat cheese and potato chips and chocolate cookies, because at the end of the day I’m a broke lesbian with a major snack food craving at all times. That being said, I also sometimes like to pretend I’m a real adult and pull out all the honeys and fruits and other things and put together pretty boards that make me feel fancy as hell. (And honestly? Posting pretty cheese boards on my Instagram has on multiple occasions led to other dykes proposing in my DMs while I eat all the cheese alone in my house with my cat Basil, and that’s all I can really ask for on a humble Wednesday night.)

Fancy cheese boards make me feel like a real grown up who has their shit together, and I can always use a little more of that feeling in my life, so here is a fancy cheese board for every day of the week, to really really feel like you’ve got it together.

Sunday

Clockwise from top left: Murray’s Cavemaster Reserve Lait Bloomer // Vermont Creamery Bijou // Parma Cotto // Three Little Pigs Petit Toasts // Carrots // Alp Blossom // Mitica Sunflower Honey // Red Currants // French Broad Malted Milk Chocolate // Roasted Almonds

This is probably my favorite board of the bunch, because it includes one of my favorite cheeses — Alp Blossom, a lovely Austrian cheese that is literally coated in wildflowers. To keep the floral theme going on this board, I also included the Lait Bloomer and a yummy little sunflower honey. The whole thing tastes like springtime and sweetness.

Monday

Clockwise from top left: Granny Smith Apples // Red Grapes // Mitica Sunflower Honey // OG Kristal // Raisins // Bedford Cheese Shop Brie de Jouvence Fermier // The Baking Bean Raspberry Honeycomb Bark // Three Little Pigs Petit Toasts

Keeping it a little more simple here, I grabbed the classic Brie de Jouvence Fermier, a creamy mushroomy dream, and some crumbles of OG Kristal, a gouda which has notes of butterscotch and cherries. I also found this fantastic chocolate bark with raspberries and dried honeycomb, and honestly this little board was exactly what I needed at the end of a nine hour shift.

Tuesday

Clockwise from top left: Red Grapes // Three Little Pigs Petit Toasts // Quadrello di Bufala // White Currants // Uncle Jerry’s Specials Pretzels // Sabra Roasted Pine Nut Hummus // Carrots // Petit Billy

I’ll confess, the hummus on this board only originally existed because I was making this cheeseboard while hanging out with friends and I didn’t want the vegans to be left out (and sorry — I’ve yet to find a vegan cheese that works for snacking instead of just cooking with!) At any rate, the combo of hummus + salty pretzels + soft cheeses was actually a surprisingly perfect little snack for everybody and I was very into it.

Wednesday

Clockwise from top left: Bedford Cheese Shop Honey Chili Peanuts // Blackberries // Peaches // Mary’s Gone Crackers Black Pepper Crackers // Bedford Cheese Shop Lemon Baked Ricotta // St. Dalfour Red Raspberry Jam // Raisins // Crown Maple Amber Syrup // Lily’s Creamy Milk Chocolate // Lazy Lady Farm Bonaparte

This is my go-to board combo when I want to feel luxurious. The baked lemon ricotta cake is silky and sweet and delicious, and the bright little goat’s milk cheese is fantastic. A drizzle of honey, some chocolate, and some fresh fruit from the farmer’s market is all you need to tie it all together.

Thursday

Clockwise from top left: Sogno Toscano Tarelli with Rosemary // Amy’s Bread // Marinated Feta with Olives // Bedford Cheese Shop Manchego 1605 // Pulse Roasted Chickpeas with Garlic and Sea Salt // Spiced Olive Oil // Roasted Almonds // Murray’s Tomme Brulee

I’m a big lover of savory foods, so this board was very much born out of my 4am craving for pasta and garlic bread. There’s a young sheepy Manchego, Tomme Brulee (one of my favorite snacking cheeses), and some yummy herbaceous marinated feta. Rosemary tarelli and garlic roasted chickpeas round it out and make everything that much more delicious.

Friday

Clockwise from top left: Strawberries // Blackberries // Blueberries // St. Dalfour Red Raspberry Jam // Bedford Cheese Shop Quadrupel // Jelina 36% Maple Crunch Chocolate // Cashel // Orange Blossom Honey

Cheeseboards can be dessert, that’s a fact I stand behind. This is one of my fave end of the week post-dinner semi-dessert cheese boards. Quadrupel is a buttery, slightly boozy, Belgian cheese I normally use for mac & cheese, but added to a board with the sweet and salty Irish Cashel, and some maple milk chocolates? They all marry together to become a super satisfying and slightly sweet little combo.

Saturday

Clockwise from top left: Bedford Cheese Shop Honey Chili Peanuts // Vallee Brebidoux // Apicoltura Luca Finocchio Millefiori Honey // Red Pears // Mike’s Hot Honey // Mary’s Gone Crackers Black Pepper Crackers // French Broad Malted Milk Chocolate // Raspberries // Blueberries

Another semi-dessert board to end the night with — but this one takes sweetness and adds a little spice. I started with Vallee Brebidoux, a buttery French sheep’s milk cheese, and paired it with Mike’s Hot Honey, red pears, honey chili coated peanuts, some malted milk chocolate chunks, and a couple black pepper crackers. Sweet and buttery with just a little kick to cut some of the sweetness.


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Dmitri Orion is lesbian farmer, cheesemonger, and writer, currently working behind the cheese case at Bedford Cheese Shop in Manhattan. They grew up farming and cooking throughout their youth and as an adult have become even more committed to supporting small makers and workers in both the agricultural and culinary industries, with a focus on farmstead cheesemaking and sustainable, equitable farming. They also teach some cheese classes at BCS in Manhattan, and make catering platters for private events, and in their free time try to learn handcrafting skills (currently: knitting and woodcarving). They can be found @topsoilandrain on Instagram.

Dmitri has written 1 articles for us.

36 Comments

  1. Very important follow-up piece to the Monday round table. After reading MRT, I felt like maybe I was really bad at being an adult, a thought that doesn’t usually occur to me. Most days I feel like I have my shit together. But wow it was easier to count the number of things that were NOT totally calling me out (only 2 things). This absolute blessing of a piece has left me feeling rejuvenated! Just what I needed to remind myself that I can and should continue to believe in myself while eating cheese alone with my cats.

  2. These are beautiful! I love the AS cheese board content this year.

    A very silly question: how does one consume a cheese board? I’m sure the answer is “however you want” but tbh there are so many things and so many possibilities and I am very overwhelmed

    • Thank you so much!!!!

      And not silly at all! It depends on what’s on it!
      If you have soft cheeses, you can spread it on whatever crackers/bread/etc that you have.
      If you have honeys/jams/etc you can drizzle / spread it on the cheeses or dip the cheeses in it.
      Nuts and things can just be snacked on in addition to the other stuff.
      Chocolate and cheese can be eaten in one bite or as seperate things, both are good!
      It’s sort of just playing with the combos and seeing what you like!

    • That’s rad! You should consider checking out Equity At The Table (EATT), a very cool directory for lgbt women & women of colour in the food & bev industries – i’ve found a lot of rad folks through there.
      If you’re comfortable sharing, I’d love to know which shop / where you’re at!

      (Also, as a psa, I exclusively identify as a lesbian and am not comfortable being referred to as q*eer)

  3. Fancy cheese is lost on me, flavours and textures just too strong especially on their own, but a well arranged snack making one feel like they got their shit together and are fancy is not; I one hundred percent get that.

    And the good stuff doesn’t need a special occasion beyond happen have it and want it today.

    • That’s super common, but if you’re interested, there are lots of “fancier” cheeses that aren’t strong or weird textures or anything. I personally am not into stinky cheeses or (most) blues, but there are some fantastic domestic cheeses especially that are just buttery and delicious!

      At any rate, you could definitely swap these out for something you’re more comfy snacking on if you wanted and it’ll still be great!

      • I know it is is but I’m talking simple thing like cheddar and pepper jack make me gag while feta is just fine and I put in grits or just eat with spoon. My odd sense of taste continues to be odd well into adulthood.

        I do have a question tho is there like grades of feta? Is suppose to be spread-ably soft or just crumbly soft? Cause what I get from the farmer’s market vs the export from Greece at the Greek festival are different in consistency but both strong in flavour.

        • No that makes total sense! You should try some other mild fresh cheeses sometime if you want and see if they’re good for you (mozzarella, burrata, fresh chevres, etc). It miiiiiight be too strong but you might really like australian feta that is marinated!

          There aren’t necessarily grades but there are definitely different styles. True Greek feta should be crumbly soft and bright. That’s personally how I prefer it unless its marinated. Marinated fetas are often more spreadable because of the added oil. Domestic fetas vary pretty wildly because many farms use different recipes and different ratios etc. It really depends on your personal preference and what you’re using it for what will be best for you!

      • And certainly not to forget those who labour at the Fromagerie, also.

        These look absolutely delicious Dmitri. What a shame I’m a whole hemisphere away. Thank You.

        PS. Will you be doing a regular feature?

          • You’re right of course. Tasmania makes some wonderful cheeses. Also if, in your travels around the more exotic purveyors of cheesey goodness, you ever come across Tassie Leatherwood honey, do yourself a favour and try it before it disappears forever. The last lot of bushfires did a real number on the Leatherwood trees and they might not recover.

            Let’s hope AS wants a regular Cheese feature. Good Luck with your future work.

  4. these all look amazing but Wednesday in particular has got to me. lemon baked ricotta cheese with chocolate and raspberry jam!!!!

    i have been known to eat cheddar and raspberry jam toasties and they’re fucking amazing so i can not even imagine the taste sensation that would result

    • personally i really like to take something people THINK they know, and give them something totally beyond.

      i.e. a lot of people are familiar with the styles of smoked goudas you get in grocery stores, but i love giving someone a real, complex, aged gouda for the first time (like the l’amuse 2year, wilde weide, or the OG kristal used here!) and seeing them just like Lose It because they didnt know gouda (or brie, or manchego, or cheddar) “could even BE that good!”

      the latest one ive been getting great impressions with is the Granja Cantagrullas 40, a spanish sheep’s milk cheese made in the style of an english clothbound cheddar. its something unlike anything else. pretty new on the market, i think my store in manhattan was the first on the east coast to stock it, but i think its made its way into cali now so definitely check in with your local shop to see if its something theyre bringing in! (and if not, my store (bedford cheese shop) sells it online 😝)

  5. Just renewed my A+ membership and honestly this post is the cherry on top of So. Many. Good. Posts. recently. Autostraddle, just keep being perfect with the cheeseplate content I didn’t even know I needed on this Friday afternoon but am now basking in (and drooling over).

  6. I’m so stoked y’all are enjoying this!

    If any of you happen to be in the NYC area, I’m gonna be teaching a pairing class at my shop on Oct. 5th.
    It’s literally just me picking all my fave cheeses and stuff to eat with them, plus booze, and then hanging out and talking about cool cheese facts / doing whatever I want (how did I convince my boss to let me do this lmaooo) but I would love to see some of y’all there!

    Also doing a Halloween class at the end of the month in which I will be wearing a costume.

    (Shoot me a DM on Instagram if you want a little discount on my classes too!)

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