Gone are the days of ‘one hard, one soft, one blue’ as the rule of thumb to curating a cheese board selection. The discerning customer now has a solid personal knowledge, and expects to be surprised and educated at a venue’s selection.
Staying abreast of industry trends – especially with something as particular as cheese – can be time intensive. So, we’ve done the hard work for you and found the five secrets to the perfect modern cheese board.
1. Customise to the customer
Keep your cheese selections wide and varied so that individual cheese boards can be made up as per each individual customer’s tastes.
List your cheeses, and spend the time working with a customer to make up a board that compliments their wine, the amount of people participating, and their personal tastes.
It will make the experience feel bespoke, and you will avoid having to throw out perfectly good slices of unwanted cheese after they finish!
2. Dare to be weird
From chocolate-infused cheese, to jalapeno cheese, the weird and wonderful concoctions hitting the cheese market are as unexpected as they are strange.
Sure, you won’t nail it every time – I mean, chocolate cheese? Really? – but showing some risk-taking on your cheese board will attract new customers and daredevils who want to try something new and off the beaten track.
3. Offset with high-quality charcuterie
Often, it is the meats, breads, and other charcuterie options that take a good cheese board to a great cheese board.
Never skimp with low-quality ingredients. If you’re including a ham, make it a home-made, rustic, shaved leg ham. If you ‘re featuring pickles or cornichons, go for a high-end label or, again, home made.
Be inventive with the ingredients you choose, and really consider what flavours will work with your cheese selection. If you are featuring a rich and tangy blue, for example, offset it with a sweet dried fruit, or fresh berries.
4. Presentation and education
Why hand over any old cheese board when you can turn it into an experience. Educate your customer on where the cheese comes from, and how it’s made. Present it in a creative and engaging way, or accompany with instructions on how to eat it and with what.
The more people are made to think about what they’re putting in their mouth, the more excited they become, and the more likely they are to re-vist or share their experience.
5. Go local
Australia offers an amazing variety of locally-made cheeses that are just as good, if not better, than international varieties.
From Gippsland to Maleny, Kangaroo Valley to Tasmania, Australian cheeses are rich in flavour and often experimenting with custom production techniques and flavours.
The average Australian consumer loves to support local suppliers, so take a look around your region and see what’s available.
When listing a tried-and-true menu option such as a cheese board, dare to stray from tradition and put your own spin on things. And remember: high quality ingredients, educated staff, and beautiful presentation never go out of fashion.
Adding the perfect cheese board to your menu isn’t the only thing you can do to make customers happy and get healthy profits. Sign up to become a member today and read our article ’25 menu hacks for happy customers and healthy profits’.