Thank you to New England Dairy for sponsoring this post.
We can all agree that Autumn is the most picturesque time of year to pack up the car and go for a drive. Whether you’re exploring some of New England’s famous fall leaf-peeping routes or looking to stock up on the tastes of the season at a local apple orchard – now more than ever – it’s nice to get out of the house and enjoy that crisp autumn air. Personally, I’ve been glancing out my window for the first glimpse of 2020 fall foliage and I’m excited to announce the orange, red, and yellow hues have arrived!
Before heading out to leaf-peep the scenic roads of New England, my number one recommendation is to pack a snack or lunch that can be enjoyed in the back of a car, on a blanket, or on a picnic table surrounded by the vibrant harvest leaves. Until recently, I’d pack a few cider donuts and call it a day – but this year I’m into creating seasonally-themed cheese boards. You might remember where my holiday cheese board obsession started – you can view here – which inspired me to go all out this time for fall!
There are so many wonderful varieties of cheese made right here in New England. Eating cheese is a great way to support a local farmer and dairy farms help to preserve the open spaces we know and love in our region. Purchasing some cheese and dairy products is a great way to show gratitude to your local dairy farmers as you enjoy the scenic New England foliage and open farmland.
With that in mind, today I’m partnership with New England Dairy, to share an apple autumn cheese board to fill up on this foliage season.
First, you’re going to want to select the cheese varieties you’d like to use for your personalized board. I think it’s important to have a good spread of different cheeses – both in texture and taste! That way, there’s a slice for everyone’s tastebuds. Personally, I enjoy harder cheeses like Cheddars and Pepper Jack because they’re tasty and easy to travel with. When it comes to soft cheeses, my top picks are Brie and Blue cheeses.
To arrange your apple autumn cheese board for an Instagram-worthy charcuterie look, I recommend purchasing or cutting your cheese choices in different sizes and shapes. I find a brick, a wedge, and a wheel gives dimension to your board.
Autumn Cheese Board Pairings
MEATS: It’s time to get creative and put your own unique spin or theme on a traditional cheese board. You’ll certainly want to include the classics like smoked meats! But, I personally love adding prosciutto, salami, and pepperoni because they go great with just about any cheese variety.
NUTS, SEEDS, & DRIED BERRIES: Another snack pairing that doubles as decoration are nuts, seeds, and dried or fresh berries. For my board, I opted to go with pecans and dried cranberries to add rich fall hues of brown and burgundy. Bonus, they’re in season! If you’re hosting picky eaters – stick to peanuts and dried apricots, dates, and chocolate.
FRUITS: A cheese board isn’t complete until you’ve added some fruit – even if it’s just for decoration. I chose freshly picked McIntosh apples! In order to pair the apples with cheese, I made sure to slice up a few for ease of eating. Additional apples I cut in half – but you could always add figs – for some visual flair.
SPREADS: Another way you can get creative with your autumn cheese board is by incorporating unique spreads! Since this is an apple autumn-themed board, I decided to incorporate some of the most quintessential tastes of fall: caramel and maple.
CRACKERS & CIDER DONUTS: A cheese board isn’t complete without crackers and a sweet! I often pick up a few different varieties of crackers to make sure I have something for everyone. Lastly, I always wrap up the cheese board with a sweet! Whether it be chocolate or pastries, I couldn’t resist bringing the apple theme in one more time with some apple cider donut holes.
I hope you’re excited to create a one-of-a-kind autumn cheese board for a leaf-peeping adventure of your own! Learn more tricks and treats on how to design a cheese board over on New England Diary’s blog.