When it comes to creating an irresistible cheeseboard the Big Cheese (yep, official title!) Sue Kurta of Boss Mouse Cheese knows her stuff. Here are her top rules—made to be broken.

Sue Kurta’s cheese-making headquarters is an 1860s corncrib in Kingsley, where she crafts aged cheddars, alpine-style Swiss and montasio plus seasonal offerings like mozzarella, feta and fresh curds. All the milk is sourced from 15 pasture-raised cows at Moomer’s Dairy. Follow her lead for a cheese platter sure to elicit eager nibbling and squeaks of delight. 

Here goes:

You can’t go wrong with the “rule of three.”

I think a selection of three cheeses is perfect—but add more if you desire. Pick cheeses that are quite different in appearance and variety: for example, one aged cow’s milk cheese (think cheddar or gouda), one goat cheese and one blue cheese. I like to add a container of dip or pâté as well. Leave one of the cheeses whole, and cut up some of the others. “Shaving” aged cheese with a vegetable peeler creates thick slivers that look appealing and are easy to nibble.

Embrace the new!

We often go straight for foods we are familiar with, but there are so many delicious and interesting cheeses to try! A cheese board is a great place to explore. Ask your cheese monger for suggestions, or taste something that catches your eye in the cheese case—there are no rules!

Photo by Dave Weidner

Like any good mouse, or teenager … raid the pantry.

You have many components of a beautiful cheese board in your house already: olives, jam or chutney, nuts, fresh fruit, pickled vegetables and one of my favorites: a nice can of sardines. There are no “wrong” ingredients. Consider decking out a cheeseboard a great opportunity to use up some opened jars of goodies from your refrigerator.

Serve any variety of crispy “crackers.”

One of my favorites is a sweet vehicle like shortbread or windmill cookies, which are excellent served with cheese.

Relax … Don’t overthink it. 

Cheeseboards are easy because there is no cooking involved, they are ready to serve in minutes, and are automatically sophisticated, offering something for everyone—exploring the taste and texture combinations is the fun of it!

Photo(s) by Dave Weidner