Venison Links Cheese Board
To shake up the typical cheese board, we added a few unusual foods, namely our tangy, smoky Venison Links, crisp Breadfruit Crackers and spicy-sweet dried Chile Mango slices. This long, rectangular board packs in a torrent of flavors and textures, and has plenty of choices for a mixed crowd of vegans and omnivores.
- Cured or smoked meat, like Patagonia Provisions Lightly Smoked Venison Links—preferably wild or organic
- Dried organic fruit, like Patagonia Provisions Chile Mango (Regenerative Organic Certified™) or dried apricots
- 2 to 3 different crackers, aiming for a variety of flavors and shapes (we used gluten-free Patagonia Provisions Breadfruit Crackers
- 2 to 3 different cheeses, aiming for a variety of flavors and shapes (we used a small round cows’-milk Brie, round of fresh goat cheese and wedges of sheep’s-milk Manchego
- Marmalade or preserves
- Small pot of mustard
- Seasonal fruit, like fresh pomegranates, grapes and green apples
- Roasted nuts, like almonds or walnuts
- Fresh, sturdy herb sprig, like sage, parsley or thyme
- Green or black olives
How to Build a Cheese Board
- Round stuff first Arrange the round elements (like cheese or a bowl of olives) on the board first, since they draw the eye.
- Work with one food at a time Fill in the board, laying down clusters of one ingredient at a time and using that ingredient in more than one spot on the board. That way, every flavor is within reach of everyone eating. Plus, it looks cool.
- Consider colors, textures and flavors As you arrange the ingredients, think about enjoyable visual and taste contrasts (or harmonies).
- Pack it in A full board feeds more people and communicates your generous, welcoming vibe.
- Shape the clusters Fan out ingredients (like apple wedges or crackers) or arrange them in streams (almonds, venison links) rather than in static piles. They’ll give the board energy and flow, and are easier to see and eat that way, too.
- Last touch Add the herbs at the end to fill in any bare spots.