As the heat winds down at the end of the day, the first cool breeze whips across the land to grace your face. As you sit on your patio, porch, or deck, the fresh air gives your lungs new energy. Your stomach starts rumbling.
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy some fresh cheese.
Depending on where you live in the world today, a long summer day might mean school is out for the year, or you’re about to celebrate the holidays. There could be burgers, prawns, or barbecue smoking on the grill.
Why not add a beautiful cheese board into the mix?
Best Summer Cheese Options to Enjoy
Your cheese cave might have a few different varieties to consider enjoying when the hot days of summer arrive.
You might be trying your first cheese recipe today, or your plan to visit the store to pick up bricks of your favorite options.
When you put together a cheese board to enjoy, a few options stand out from the rest when you’re winding down from a long day in the sun.
You can make this cheese in as little as 30 minutes. If you want something saltier and intoxicatingly dense, let it sit for 48 hours. It can store up to a week in your refrigerator. Add a little basil and tomato to have the perfect snack to enjoy.
It takes about four days to make a standard feta. You can store it in olive oil for several weeks to preserve it. A brine solution is another possibility to encourage a robust flavor profile. You can add it to the cheese board as a block, in cubes, or as crumbles, depending on the quality and density of the product.
It only takes a couple of days to make this creamy French cheese at home. The mild flavor works well with several condiments, spices, or herbs. Pair it with some prosciutto to create a satisfying addition to your board.
4. Cream Cheese
Although this choice might not be an initial contender for a cheese board, the versatility it gives you is incredible. You can mix any flavor into your recipe and have it ready to serve in under 72 hours. Consider adding chives, parsley, or smoked salmon into it. Serve with some chorizo, smoked peppers, or any vegetable to get a delightful crunch.
It only takes a couple of hours to make this cheese when you have leftover whey from another project. You can keep it in the fridge for about five days, so try to make it mid-week if you’re planning a weekend gathering. It spreads quickly on almost anything to offer a tangy addition to your cheese board. Throw anything you have left over into a lasagna for later!
6. Queso Fresco
This cheese could be the perfect solution for first-time cheesemakers. You can make it over the course of the morning to have it ready that night to enjoy. You can store it for up to a week. The flavor profile is so mild with this cheese that it adopts whatever you pair with it. Consider having a robust variety, such as Epoisses de Bourgogne or Stinking bishop, to create some balance.
Although the best way to describe the smell from this cheese is that it is similar to a smelly foot, you can make an excellent spread that keeps the odor down significantly. You don’t lose any of the flavor profile when taking this step, creating a unique addition to a cheese board that matches well with any fruit.
Additional Foods to Add to Your Cheese Board
A cheese board filled with your favorite cheese varieties sounds like heaven. When you pair some additional ingredients with the best cheese, you’ll have a recipe for fun and relaxation at the end of a summer day.
The best cheese boards feature simple ingredients. Fresh produce is always a welcome addition.
Crackers or toast are the most critical non-cheese ingredient. It would help if you had something firm and crunchy to work with the smoothness of your cheese. A crisp wafer with a touch of salt and olive oil is the perfect plate!
It helps to have a protein on the cheese board for additional saltiness and texture. Any cured meat product works well, although prosciutto tends to be the most popular choice. Consider adding some pepperoni or salami into the mix to create more flavor combinations.
Different jams, jellies, and pastes are worth adding to a cheese board – especially if you are celebrating a holiday. Quince paste, ginger jam, and spreadable fruit of your choice can give you the overall balance needed with each bite.
Fresh produce additions to the cheese board depend on the other choices you’ve made. When in doubt, choose grapes. Apples are a popular choice, especially if you have a crisp, sweet variety available. Tomato slices are another option, while tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, or papaya can add a surprising depth of flavor.
You’re Ready to Add the Final Touch!
The only way that herbs make the traditional cheese board is if you serve fresh Mozzarella with it. The combination of cheese, basil, and tomato hit every flavor note for an enjoyable experience.
It’s time to change that approach to a cheese board.
Adding several fresh herbs to the spread allows you to experiment with several different flavor combinations. Thyme, rosemary, lemon basil, dill, sorrel, chervil, and tarragon are all possibilities to explore.
Once you have all of the ingredients ready, don’t forget about the drinks! A summer cheese board deserves a tasty cocktail, such as a mojito. You can pair almost any white wine if you prefer something more traditional.
How do you plan to celebrate the long days of summer this year?