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Making the Perfect Cheese Board for Shavuot

At Lester Senior Living in Morris County, we love gathering for Shabbat dinners or picnicking outside during the warmer months. And with Shavuot coming up on June 11-14, it’s a perfect time to consider dairy-centric favorites like cheese blintzes, cheese kreplach, even cheesecake. But less work and equally exciting is a good cheese board to go with some wine!  A well constructed cheese board is not only visually stunning, but also easy to prepare with just a little planning.

Cheese Selection

Start by choosing your cheeses. Cheese boards typically feature three to four types of cheese, varying in hardness and softness and shape. Don’t let this scare you though, if you only have one good cheese, serve that and serve it proudly!

We suggest one cheese from each category:

  • Soft Cheese: Mozzarella, Brie, Goat Cheese, Camembert
  • Semi-Soft Cheese: Gouda, Jarlsberg, Blue Cheese
  • Semi-Hard Cheese: Provolone, Sage Derby, Manchego, Comte
  • Hard Cheese: Aged Cheddar, Parmesan, Aged Asiago, Chesmire.

Add Some Crunch

Lightly toasted, thinly sliced french bread or some kind of thin wafer salted or unsalted crackers. We highly recommend multigrain crackers, bagel chips or even traditional round challah, sliced thin and toasted – yum. Stay away from flavored crackers as the cheese should be the star here, the cracker is for texture.

Jelly or Honey

If it was Rosh Hashanah, we’d be adding a small bowl of honey with a honey stick, but for Shavuot we prefer to try something different. Consider a small bit of jelly, or jam in a small cup with a small spoon to serve. Grape jelly is overdone and boring, consider apricot or orange marmalade for something more upscale.  Consider variations in flavor and color of your accompaniments for added appeal.

Seasonal Fruits & Nuts

All cheese boards are elevated by the presence of colorful, ripe seasonal fruit. Adding strawberries, peaches, mangoes or red grapes are great opportunities to add more color to your cheese board. Dried Apricots are a colorful favorite. Grapes in particular pair well with brie. Nuts like pecans, or Hazelnuts are good, uncommon choices. For a more traditional touch, include walnuts which are often enjoyed in tishpishti, a Sephardic walnut cake. Pecans, almonds, and pistachios are also excellent choices for the cheese and fruits mentioned above. 

Picnics and More with Residents at Lester Senior Living in NJ

With the weather warming up, we definitely plan to spend more time outside on our beautiful grounds. June is a great time to call Mom or Dad up and arrange a picnic at Lester Senior Living. Just grab your big picnic blanket, some refreshments and give us a call. Our chefs would be happy to provide snacks and you can bring the cheese board, so that your Shavuot celebration with your loved ones is a tasty one.  

To learn more about the outdoor activities we have planned for our seniors in Morris County this summer, please reach out or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org