It’s official: Cheese boards are trending. And why wouldn’t they be? Everyone loves cheese—especially when it’s displayed so eloquently on a board with all the accompanying accouterments.

If you don’t know what we mean, then you probably haven’t been on Instagram in a while. In recent years, cheese boards have become one of the most popular items to make or bring to a party. But not just any cheese boards—cheese boards that look like literal works of art. Some of them are so intricate that people can become intimidated by making them.

But don’t worry. It’s totally normal for cheese board making to feel a bit overwhelming if you’ve never made one before. Have no fear: Sarah Hendrix, owner of Lady and Larder, a small cheese shop in Los Angeles, is here to help.

Her shop specializes in cheese and cured meat boards, and she’s broken down just how simple it actually is to create an amazing cheese board that will impress all your friends and family.

Sarah says that one of the first golden rules to creating the ultimate cheese board is to make sure you have a range of cheeses that vary in textures and flavors. You’ll definitely want to get at least one “safe” cheese that everyone likes—you know, like a cheddar—and then add on more adventurous ones that blue or goat cheese varieties.

Next, pick out your cured meats. Like the cheeses, you’ll want to make sure you have a good variety of textures and tastes. Luckily, there are tons of meats you can choose from—prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, the list goes on and on.

There are lots of fun and easy ways you can display these cheeses to make them aesthetically pleasing on your board, too (the key is not to lay them flat!). Bigger pieces can be folded up and squished between cheeses, while smaller meats make a great border around the edges of the board.

After the meats come the crème de la crème of all cheese boards: The accouterments that enhance a board like no other. We’re talking about fruits, olives, nuts, the like. These items not only offer more flavors that people can mix and match with their cheeses and crackers, but they really give the board some color and life.

 

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Lastly, are the garnishes. While not necessary for every board, things like rosemary sprigs or edible flowers are the secret to making a cheese board come to life.

Pro tip from Sarah: Cheese boards are best served at room temperature, so be sure to prepare the board a few hours in advance.

Simple, right? To get visual step-by-step instructions by the queen of cheese board making herself, check out the video below.

(Bonus: She also talks about her company’s cheesecakes—and we don’t mean your standard cheesecake. We mean actual cakes made out of cheese!).

We had no idea making an intricate cheese board could be so easy! Have you ever made a cheese platter like this before? Do you think you’ll make one for an upcoming get-together?