A good cheese board is more of a composition than a recipe; a thoughtful assembly of components, coming together to make an irresistible spread. One of the prettiest, most well-rounded and expertly plated cheese boards we’ve seen lately is the one that Sue Miller of Birchrun Hills Farm and Stefanie Angstadt of Valley Milkhouse, put together! Leave it to cheese makers to make an incredible cheese board! In addition to making their own cheeses, these two Pennsylvania-based artisans own Collective Creamery, a cheese subscription service that serves the Greater Philadelphia Area. Just as they hand-pick special cheeses for each member’s share with the utmost care and consideration, they curated this all-PA cheese board during their Pennsylvania Kitchen session.
They started with a Southeastern PA and cow’s milk theme, each adding cheeses from their own labels. From Birchrun Hills, Miller chose Fat Cat, a raw milk natural rind semi-soft cheese that’s a touch funky, earthy and tangy; Equinox, a semi-firm cheese with nutty and caramel notes; and Birchrun Blue (perhaps her most well known cheese), a mild semi-soft blue cheese, with sweet, peppery and creamy flavors.
Angstadt chose Valley Milkhouse’s Thistle, a creamy, buttery, Camembert-inspired golden yellow soft-ripened cheese; Witchgrass, a grass-fed, creamy cow’s milk cheese that’s dusted with charcoal ash before ripening, full of smoky, earthy notes; and Clover, a silky, delicate fromage blanc with a delightful tart flavor.
Each cheese brings something unique and special to the board: creamy, tangy, nutty, rich and light with a range of textures and flavors. And really, that’s one of the keys to composing a great cheese board: striking a balance between variety, so that each bite can be a new experience, and similarity, so that the whole thing doesn’t feel sloppy or random. Little extras, like Pennsylvania honey, dark chocolate, sliced radishes, local baguette and crackers, nuts and dried fruit, allow your guests to experiment with all sorts of combinations and pairings. If you can create an experience that’s half-snack, half-adventure, you’ve truly rocked your cheese board!
Watch our video to get tips from Miller and Angstadt, then head here for the full recipe!
- Video and photo: Dish Works