Though charcuterie boards were one of the biggest food trends of 2020, cheese boards, with or without cured meat, are more than a recent trend in Dallas.
The Libertine Bar’s cheese plate first showed up on our 100 Favorite Dishes list in 2010, and it’s still on the menu at the Greenville Avenue watering hole.
Popularity shows no signs of declining either. Just last month Amor y Queso, a new shop specializing in boards and boxes of all types and sizes, opened in Deep Ellum.
We now have more options than ever for making our own cheese boards, too. Whether you provision your plate with goods from JImmy’s Food Store and Pickletopia or wander the wonderland that is Eataly, you can pick and choose from an endless number of cheeses, meats and accouterments.
If you want to make your shopping experience memorable while putting together an unforgettable cheese board, consider spending some time at the Dallas Farmers Market and selecting from the local goods offered there.
"A charcuterie board is the perfect representation of flavors and personalities found at the Dallas Farmers Market,” farm and enrichment coordinator Savannah Nordstrom says. “Each item offers not only a unique taste but also a story of a young farmer, a family recipe passed down or a fruitful harvest canned for later days."
The Scardello Artisan Cheese shop inside The Market Shops is a must-stop, of course. You can buy a variety of complete cheese plates and add on meats, mustards and more.
For the make-it-yourself option, choose a few cheeses from a large selection of Texas-made and domestic varieties. The meat case offers coppa, soppressata and several other cured pork selections. With jams, nuts, bean-to-bar chocolate and more, Scardello offers everything you need to make a great cheese board in just one stop.
More stops are more fun, though, so don’t skip a trip out to the booths in The Shed, the covered, open-air market that’s currently open on weekends. The assortment of vendors in The Shed varies seasonally and from week to week, but look for these booths for a sampling of goods that will make your cheese board magnificent.
Add texture and color to your board with cauliflower, red sail lettuce and rainbow chard or other fresh vegetables from Bonton Farms. Cilantro, parsley and fresh herbs are also great additions offered by the southern Dallas farm at their booth on Saturdays.
You’ll want some bread to serve with your cheese, and at D’s Breads, you’ll find several varieties of artisan sourdough bread made with organic ingredients. Whole wheat, salted rosemary and seeded Jewish rye are just a few of the options, all of which have been sold exclusively at the Dallas Farmers Market for over six years.
Most of the loaves are vegan, while pastries, which sell out early in the day, are made with locally pastured eggs and organic butter.
G & S Groves
You’ll find only seasonal produce grown in Texas or within 400 miles of Dallas in the booths at The Shed. Luckily, January brings us certified organic oranges and grapefruit from G & S Groves. The fresh citrus fruits grown on two small family farms in South Texas add visual interest and contrasting flavor to your cheese board.
Rockin JR Ranch
If you visit the market regularly, you might recognize Ray Zies of Rockin JR Ranch even with his mask on. You can assume he’s smiling while manning the booth of jams and jellies, because lately he has a lot to smile about. The Buffalo, Texas, company’s spicy gift set was one of Oprah's Favorite Things of 2020.
That gift set includes strawberry jalapeño and peach-raspberry habanero jams, both of which add a welcome combination of sweetness and spice to a cheese assortment. You can also choose from more than a dozen other flavors that include wine and cocktail flavored jellies.
Round Rock Honey
On any given day, you’ll likely find more than one honey vendor, but Round Rock Honey’s wildflower honey might be the best of the bunch. Traditional honey goes great with cheese and the orange cinnamon and bourbon barrel flavors will make a distinctive addition to your board.
At the Texas Fungus booth, you'll usually find three to five varieties of mushrooms freshly harvested from their farm in Arlington. Lion’s mane, golden and Italian oyster mushrooms are just a few of the varieties with unique flavors that will level up your board.
Tree and Hatchet
If you need something to serve your cheese on, look for the booth from Tree and Hatchet, a Denton company that makes handmade home decor and custom furniture. Their cutting boards, butcher blocks and serving trays might be the perfect base to build your board on.
Beyond these options, you can also find root vegetables and tomatoes, microgreens, goat cheese, hummus, olives, nuts, pickles and more for your board when you visit the booths at The Shed.
To keep your visit safe, vendors and visitors alike are required to wear masks and keep their distance. There are multiple handwashing stations on site.
Several vendors also make their products available on the Dallas Farmers Market online store. Whether for caution or convenience, you can place an order ahead of time for designated curbside pickup times. Visit the website for COVID-19 safety guidelines, shopping tips and more.
Dallas Farmers Market, The Market Shops, 920 S. Harwood. Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Farmers Market at The Shed, 1010 S. Pearl Expressway. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.