Cheese board with meat, olives, grapes, and a baguette

Culinary Wanderlust: How to Make a Travel-Inspired Cheese Board

If you’re anything like us, one of the best parts of travelling is getting to tuck into local cuisines and experiencing flavours from all around the world.

Though we can’t jet off to culinary hotspots like Italy or Spain just yet, we can still get a taste of our favourite destinations by bringing international flavours to our kitchens. And what better way to experience the world at home than with a wanderlust-inspired cheese board? 

Curate a plate packed full of the best cheeses, either from a specific area or from across the globe, and get a sneak peek of the mouthwatering goodies you can expect on your next trip.

Person holding cheese platter with grapes and olives
Travel around the world at home with a wanderlust-inspired cheese board | © Melissa Walker Horn/Unsplash

What should you include in your cheese board?

The best cheese boards include a variety of tastes and textures. Choose a range of different cheeses — three to six is a good amount — and try to mix up the types of cheese you choose. If you like it, include blue cheese, and perhaps a goat’s cheese too. 

Next up is the all-important pairings. Bread is always a good choice, whether you go for warm, crunchy baguettes to smear brie on, or crackers piled high with cheese and chutney. Speaking of chutney, it’s up to you what you choose, from sweet onion chutney to a spicy tomato relish. Think about the flavours of your cheeses and what will work well together.

Nuts are always a good addition to a cheese board. Go for bitter nuts like walnuts to go with rich feta, ricotta and manchego, or sweeter nuts such as pecans as a counter to salty cheeses.

Grapes and figs are classic cheese board components, but you can choose whatever fruit you like best. The crunch of apples can balance out softer cheeses, whilst dried fruit will add a sweetness to saltier cheese.

Cheese board with meat, olives, grapes, and a baguette
Choose the perfect pairings for your cheese | © Erik Dungan/Unsplash

Creating a regional cheese board

If there’s a specific destination you’re dreaming about, or you just particularly like the cuisine from one area, creating a regional cheese board is a great way of getting a taste for that country. 

If France is on your travel bucket list, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to cheeses. Here are some suggestions — pick one from each category, and maybe an extra one from your favourite!

  • Soft cheese: Camembert, Brie, Reblochon, Epoisses, Pont l’Evêque
  • Hard cheese: Morbier, Cantal, Comté, Tomme des Pyrénées
  • Blue cheese: Bleu d’Auvergne, Fourme d’Ambert, Bleu des Causses
Blue cheese with figs and grapes
Experiment with cheese from different destinations | © Michele Blackwell/Unsplash

Less famous for its cheese, but just as delicious, is Italy. It’s not just mozzarella and Parmesan, you know! Make your Italian-inspired cheese board with a selection of the following:

  • Soft cheese: Burrata, Taleggio, Stracchino, Asiago, Fontina
  • Hard cheese: Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino
  • Blue cheese: Gorgonzola, Murianengo, Basajo

You can do this for any cheese-producing regions you like. Why not pick a random country or region from the map and create a cheese board inspired by it? You never know, you might come across a new favourite!

Cheese display from around France in a shop
Create a regional board with cheese from France | © Elisa Michelet/Unsplash

Travel all around the world

Of course, the other option for your wanderlust-inspired cheese board is to take inspiration from all over the globe rather than one specific region.

This is a great way to try cheese you’ve never had before as well as finding new travel inspiration. Can’t get enough of one of the cheeses on the board? Maybe that’s your next trip planned!

Some cheeses from around the world that we’re keen to try are:

  • Ayibe, a mild cheese from Ethiopia with a feta-like consistency
  • Havarti, a semi-soft cheese from Denmark with notes of hazelnuts
  • Sirene, a crumbly cheese that’s popular across the Balkans
  • Nabulsi, made from sheep’s milk and spiced with mahleb, Nabulsi is popular in Palestine and Jordan
  • Sakura cheese from Japan, which is flavoured with cherry blossom
  • Tyrolean grey, a strong-smelling cheese from the Tyrolean Alps of Austria
  • Aura, a blue cheese from Finland
  • Cornish Yarg, which is wrapped in nettle leaves before being left to mature
Cheese board with meat, fruit, and crackers
Get inspired with ingredients from countries across the globe | © Brooke Lark/Unsplash

Lauren is a freelance copywriter based in Edinburgh, Scotland. As well as writing, she loves exploring her country (and the rest of the world), and can often be found running up a hill or on her yoga mat.

Woman with yellow backpack hiking through field with mountain peaks
Up Next:

These Are the Top Hiking Destinations for 2021

These Are the Top Hiking Destinations for 2021