I’ve been craving for cheese ever since having baked brie at a Valentine dinner prepared by The Lazy Chef of Kairos. On our 12th anniversary, we decided to just stay in and I thought making my own cheese board would be a great, easy, and thrifty idea. Here are some tips on how to make an affordable cheese board at home.
- Where to buy cheeses and cold cuts. I love how convenient the cold cuts and cheese section of Robinson’s Selections in Robinsons Galleria. It is convenient for me because I do not have to ask anyone to cut or weigh a certain type of meat, which saves me from identifying anything, because, honestly, I can’t determine the difference between my bacon and pancetta or my cheddar from my edam. There are many variety in Robinson’s Select and you can buy a minimum of 100grams.
- How to choose cheese and cold cuts. With cheese, I choose something that I was already familiar with (camembert) and something I haven’t tasted yet (cheddar with peppercorn). I also choose two cheeses that have contrasting texture — the camembert was soft while the cheddar has hard. For the cold cuts, I choose something that was also familiar (Hungarian sausage) and unfamiliar (jamon).
- What else to put in the cheese board. I browsed Pinterest and Instagram and checked what other people put in their cheese boards. But I basically just went with my instinct on what I think would taste good when paired with cheese and cold cuts. I added slices of baguette and crackers, 2 kinds of fruits (grapes and apples), honey, and Patchi chocolates.
- How much will it cost. I made a tally of the cost of all ingredients (except for honey and the Patchi chocolates because I already have them at home) and the total cost was P805.00. With this amount, I got the following:
|Aguila Hungarian sausage||P129.00||2 pieces in a pack|
|Jedco coppa mild||P129.00||16 slices/rounds|
|Viking camembert||P143.00||good for 8|
|Cheddar cheese with pepper||P105.00||100 grams|
All of these could feed 8 people as an appetizer, which means cost per person is P100. I think this is more economical compared to buying a prepared cheese platter (P1,500 from Robinsons Selections). Even if you add your own labor, the cost per person of a homemade, DIY cheese board will still not amount to P1,500 because what I basically did was just slice the apples, bread, apples, and sausages, toast the camembert and sausages, wash the grapes, and arrange everything. For the wooden board, you can get a cheap one at your wet market (e.g. Taboan or Carbon market) or from Kultura. You can also re-use the wooden board at home.
Since the holidays are fast approaching, I think a cheese plate is also a good gift idea. What I did here is get a native woven plate (P12 from Taboan), a paper doily (P30 for pack of 10), and arranged the mix of cheeses, cold cuts, crackers, and fruits. Just wrap this in clear cellophane wrap, add a ribbon and a gift tag, and I am sure the receiver will be delighted (unless that receiver is vegan or lactose-intolerant). 😀