One of the best parts of any get together or holiday party is the cheeseboard. Filled with a variety of cheeses, fruits, spreads, olives, and more tasty treats, there’s bound to be something for everyone.

It may seem overwhelming to put together a thoughtful cheese board when there are so many options to include. Luckily, we compiled some helpful tips to make it easier.

It only makes sense to start with the main ingredient: cheese. Variety is key when selecting your cheeses. On average, four to five different kinds should be the right amount. When in doubt, stick to the classics. Maybe add in an additional seasonal cheese that fits the holiday or theme if you’d like.

Select at least one cheese from each category: aged, soft, firm, and blue. Aged cheese has a sharp flavor. Some great options are Gouda and Gruyere. Soft cheeses are spreadable; consider providing a brie or soft mozzarella. Firm cheeses include manchego and asiago. Blue cheeses tend to be salty and have a stronger scent; for that, consider gorgonzola or Danish blue.

If you’re curious about how much to purchase, estimate 2-3 ounces per person and more if you only include cheese on your board. Pro tip: If you include a fragrant cheese in the mix, be sure to separate it as it will easily transfer to another cheese.

Serve up the cheese with the option of bread or crackers. A sliced up baguette is a perfect size. If you choose to go with crackers, make sure they are a good size to plate your toppings. Plus, you’ll need something for your preserves.

Try a fruit preserve to balance the salty cheese and nuts. Fig jam and apple preserves are great options. Honey is another excellent addition.

If this is not a vegetarian board, feel free to include a variety of meats like prosciutto and salami. Picking meats is the same as choosing which cheeses to add: You want to include some basics and provide an array.

Fruits & Nuts
Fruits go wonderful with cheeses. An easy solution for picking which fruits is to pick what’s in season. Something sweet will pair perfectly with salty cheese. Nuts like pistachios and almonds will add a crunch to the mix.

Other delightful options to consider are olives, pickles, and marinated veggies. When presenting the cheese board, feel free to include rustic garnish touches like rosemary sprigs. Keep the food refrigerated until about 30 minutes or an hour before guests arrive, so that way, it is room temperature.