The Origin of the Cheese and Charcuterie Board

How much does our current cheese and charcuterie board craze owe to the humble Ploughman’s lunch?  Well as it turns out, quite a lot.

The humble cheese board has a long and illustrious history harking back to the days of sheep herders and farm workers. This was long before our phones started being used to capture every nuance of every morsel we consumed, first eating out and now eating in.

In those pre-industrial days, sheep herders on the mountain unwrapped a piece of cloth to reveal a hunk of bread and another of cheese. Bread and cheese were the staple of their diets, perhaps with a pickled onion. Hard working farm laborers and men out in the fields cutting hay all day also dined on these unadorned basics. As our world turned industrial in the 1800s, the ploughman’s lunch at the local pub was born (although it probably wasn't widely called that until the 1950s).  Add a piece of fruit and a sausage or slice of meat to that bread and cheese, wash it down with a pint, and the humble ploughman’s lunch is laid out before you.  Today, you may find a simple salad or hard-boiled egg added to the standard meal.  And most likely, the pickled onion has been replaced by a pickle or chutney.

Surely social media is largely responsible for elevating the simple meal of bread and cheese to the art of today's cheese board. But it's also responsible for some outlandish combinations.  A cheese board or cheese and charcuterie board should be simple to prepare and serve. The American take on the rural English tradition was originally conceived to make entertaining easy.

Order a cheese board at a Farm to Table or Fork to Table restaurant and you’ll most likely be served….cheese!  Beautiful unadorned cheese!  Baguette slices perhaps, and some simple crackers, maybe honey or a luscious fig jam – but you’re going to taste and savor the individual artisanal cheese offerings.  The cheeses are meant to be enjoyed on their own merits, not mangled with tastes and pairings that don’t necessarily belong with one another.

A functional but beautiful wooden board will take your most humble charcuterie and cheese board to new heights -- all without the food contortions dreamt up by TikTok influencers.  And should you choose to adorn your charcuterie board with a few elegant pairings, all the better!

Choosing Your Charcuterie Board

Our 8” x 14” cheese and cutting board will easily serve 6-8 while our larger 14” x 18” board or 16” Lazy Susan will easily serve a crowd.  Why buy a huge charcuterie board for a one-time use when you can set your table with multiple cutting boards and add bowls for a shareable feast!

About New Hampshire Bowl and Board

Our Made in the USA wood bowls, charcuterie boards and Lazy Susans are designed for beautiful presentations on your table and special occasion gift giving.  Paulie the Bowl Man is a real person (not always happy to be in front of the camera). But call him and he will be pleased to hear your voice and chat about salad, cheese, and charcuterie.

Cherry Cutting Board

from $ 64.99

Personalized Charcuterie Board Choose Cherry, Walnut, or Multi-wood

from $ 109.99

Wood Salad Serving Bowl Set Cherry 7"

from $ 39.99