Pass The Cheese, Please

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Tips and tricks to create a killer cheese board for holiday entertaining

Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas is known for its small plates that put modern twists to Italian classics. The restaurant, located at 1002 Old Country Rd. in Garden City, has recently revamped its cheese boards—including the addition of a new sweet and savory dessert cheese board—and is sharing ways for holiday hosts to take their cheese boards to the next level.

A home entertaining staple, cheese boards are simple to put together and offer guests a variety of snacks sure to please any palate. The much-loved spread is perfect for the holidays as it’s shareable and completely customizable, so it lends itself to some serious creativity.

Choosing a cheese

Select a cheese with a variety of textures (soft, semisoft, hard), strengths, colors and shapes to make your board visually appealing.

Pro tip: take the cheese out of the fridge about a half hour before serving to soften.

Plenty of sides

Offer your guests options by including a balance of sweet and savory sides such as fresh, seasonal fruit, cured meats, honey and spicy mustard.

Pro tip: Keep polarizing items like olives, pickles and nuts in separate containers for guests who may not be fond of them or allergic.

All about the presentation

For a seasonal touch, add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary or fill in any holes with cranberries.

Dessert anyone?

Serve your cheese board at dessert instead of as an appetizer to surprise and delight dinner guests. Swap out some of the more savory items for pieces of chocolate or brittle.

Wash it down

Enjoy your cheese board with a glass of vino. Bubbly Prosecco pairs nicely with saltier cheeses; lighter reds like Pinot Noir or Chardonnay with fruity and nutty flavors can complement many cheeses, taking the guesswork out of pairing.

Take inspiration from Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas’ new boards, which include the Spuntino Board, featuring prosciutto, soppressata, fontina, Parmigiano Reggiano, mozzarella, candied walnuts, roasted grapes, honey, fig jam, balsamic glaze and crostini; the Chef’s Artisanal Board, including cacciatorini, sweet capocollo, speck, aged Gouda, asiago, taleggio, pecorino tartufo, olive spread, roasted grapes, prosecco mustard, tomato honey, pesto and crostini or the Dolci Formaggi Board, highlighting gorgonzola, ricotta, Parmesan, goat cheese, honey, candied walnuts, grapes, fig jam, seasonal fruit, sliced apples, balsamic glaze, biscotti and crushed pistachio.

—Submitted by Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas

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