Build a Mandala Cheese Board in 5 Easy Steps
"Mandala" is a Sanskrit word for a spiritual symbol. There are tons of designs and patterns out there, but there is usually a circular center that represents a palace that contains a divinity or gift. There are various spiritual meanings and practices associated with them (like focusing attention or meditation for a specific purpose). Recently though, the word mandala is commonly used for any geometric pattern with a symbolic meaning. I’ve always been drawn to these patterns and have been really inspired by flower mandalas lately. Here are a few of my favorites.
I'm not going to delve too deeply into the symbolism behind mandalas because I'm only focusing on the design aesthetic for the purpose of this cheese board, and while I do consider goat cheese to be a true gift from God, I'm not sure I can make a case for it having an spiritual meaning beyond that!
Last week, I wanted to make something special for the New Moon Party I was hosting, something that would reflect the boho vibes of the day, so I decided to construct a mandala cheese board. Here's how to make your own.
1. What you'll need
To make your own mandala cheese board, you will need a circular board, a few different types of cheeses that vary in color and are easy to cut and shape, and greenery, berries and nuts for different shapes and colors. I chose a circle of goat cheese, a wheel of Brie, a wedge of Gouda and two bricks of cheddar (one white and one orange) for my cheeses, along with grapes and blueberries for more circular shapes and pops of color. (While the Manchego is pictured here, it didn’t end up making the cut.) Because I was building this one for a new moon party, I chose Rosemary and Dill as the greenery since they are herbs of that particular zodiac sign (Capricorn), and sage because it always adds a nice decorative touch.
I HAD A LITTLE ASSISTANT ON HAND AS WELL...
2. Construct your center
The center (or your “palace”) is the most important part since it will guide the rest of your design. Make the center a more circular shape. I cut the brie wheel into triangles and turned each triangle outwards to form the shape of a sun or flower. The goat cheese fit perfectly in the center, and I surrounded it with a wreath of dill.
3. Trim your petals
I found the bricks of cheddar to be the easiest to trim and first cut both cheeses into thinner rectangles. As you can see, I tried to get creative with the white cheddar to create realistic-looking petals but found that simply cutting the corners off the orange cheddar was much easier and more symmetrical.
4. Place your petals
Now it’s time to design! With mandalas, symmetry is key. Evenly place your petals around the center, and use blueberries to finish the flower design.
5. Finishing Touches
Here’s where you can get creative. Now that you have your flowers down, fill in the rest of the board using other shapes. I cut gouda into rectangles and constructed little patterns with grapes and Marcona almonds. Sprigs of Rosemary maintained the circular design, and sage gave the board a really dramatic, bohemian feel (I only wished I had more!)
Now you're all set to impress your guests. Say cheese! This app is worth sharing.