Cheese Board vs. Butter Board: What will you be making this Christmas?

What is a classic cheese board?

A classic cheese board is a carefully curated selection of cheeses, accompaniments, and garnishes that are arranged on a serving platter or board. It is a popular choice for entertaining guests or enjoying a special meal. The key to creating a classic cheese board is to offer a variety of flavors, textures, and types of cheese.


How to create a classic cheese board?

  1. Start with a variety of cheeses: Include a mix of soft, semi-soft, hard, and blue cheeses. Some popular options include Brie, Cheddar, Gouda, and Blue Cheese.
  2. Add accompaniments: Include a selection of crackers, bread, and fruits such as grapes, apples, and pears. These provide a complementary texture and flavor to the cheese.
  3. Garnish with nuts and olives: Add some roasted nuts like almonds or walnuts for an extra crunch. Olives can also be a great addition to the cheese board.
  4. Consider condiments: Offer a variety of condiments like honey, jams, or chutneys. These can enhance the flavours of the cheese and provide a unique taste experience.
  5. Arrange it aesthetically: Place the cheeses, accompaniments, and garnishes on a large wooden board or platter. Arrange them in an aesthetically pleasing manner, considering colours, shapes, and sizes.


What are some classic cheese flavour pairings?

Brie and dried apricots: The creamy and buttery texture of brie contrasts well with the chewy and sweet flavour of dried apricots.

Gorgonzola and honey: The tangy and sharp taste of gorgonzola is balanced by the smooth and sweet taste of honey. You can drizzle some honey over the cheese or serve it on the side.

Manchego and quince paste: The nutty and salty flavour of manchego pairs nicely with the fruity and tart flavour of quince paste, also known as membrillo. This is a classic Spanish combination that is often served with bread or crackers.

Cheddar and apple chips: The rich and savoury flavour of cheddar goes well with the crisp and sweet flavour of apple chips. You can use sharp or mild cheddar, depending on your preference.

Goat cheese and figs: The fresh and tangy flavour of goat cheese complements the juicy and sweet flavour of figs. You can use fresh or dried figs or even fig preserve.

Camembert and grapes: The soft and earthy flavour of camembert matches the refreshing and sweet flavour of grapes. You can use green or red grapes or a mix of both.


What is a butter board?

A butter board is a simple yet delicious alternative to a classic cheese board. It is made one of the two following ways:

  1. A large board is covered in a partially melted buttery base with a series of different breads or crackers available to the side for dipping. This type of board is certainly a little messier but is easy for guests to use and looks incredible. You can also add different toppings to the butter for added flavour.
  2. A large board is set up showcasing different types of butter and spreads, along with complementary accompaniments. This version is more traditional and keeps it fairly neat. You can also serve this type of butter board alongside a cheese board to compliment one another.

Butter boards are a great option for those who prefer a milder and creamier flavour profile (or if you just love butter!).


How to create a butter board?

  1. Select a variety of butter if you want to make the traditional butter board. Include different types of butter such as salted, unsalted, flavoured, or cultured butter. You can also experiment with vegan or plant-based butter alternatives. Butters made from different animal milks also offer unique flavours and textures. You can also shop for artisan butter, with different seasonings or other herbs mixed in, like truffle butter, sage butter etc. or you can try making your own.
  2. If you opt for the newer butter board version, leave the butter out to soften before trying to apply it to your serving board. Take it out at least 2 hours before trying to make the recipe, and mix the butter in a bowl to soften it more. Don't microwave it - it will become far too runny to work with.
  3. Add accompaniments: Offer a selection of bread, crackers, or croissants to pair with the butter. You can also include some sliced radishes, cucumbers, or cherry tomatoes for a refreshing touch.
  4. Include sweet spreads: Consider adding sweet spreads like fruit preserves, honey, or chocolate spread. These can provide a delightful contrast to the savoury butter.
  5. Consider herbs and spices: Sprinkle some fresh herbs like dill, chives, or parsley on the butter. You can also experiment with spices like cinnamon, paprika, or garlic powder to add an extra kick.
  6. Arrange it elegantly: Place the different types of butter, accompaniments, and spreads on a serving platter or board. Arrange them in an elegant and inviting manner, ensuring easy access for your guests.

Need some good butter board flavour combos? Check out these recipe pages online:


FAQ: Can I mix and match cheese and butter on the same board?

Yes, you can certainly mix and match cheese and butter on the same board. This can provide a diverse range of flavours and options for your guests. Consider offering a variety of cheeses, butters, and accompaniments to create a unique and memorable tasting experience.

Whether you choose to create a classic cheese board or a innovative butter board, both options offer a delightful array of flavours and textures. The choice ultimately depends on your personal preferences and the occasion. So, gather your favourite cheeses or butters, select some delicious accompaniments, and get ready to impress your guests with a beautifully crafted board!