Experiencing and enjoying cheese involves more than taste and texture. There are the additional elements of time, place, accompanying foods, presentation and people. When all of these elements meld together perfectly the result is … cheese nirvana.
Today I am focused on the element of presentation after learning of Bill Major, a Canadian cheese board artist. Bill resides on the edge of Lake Simcoe in Ontario, Canada. He has a love for wood and woodcraft in a way similar to cheese makers. He takes a raw material (wood instead of milk) and creates something special. He has chosen to create cheese boards to satisfy his artistic passion.
Bill produces “live edge” cheese boards. These are basically slices of a tree trunk, bark and all. By cutting the tree this way it’s growth rings are exposed. Each ring represents one year of the tree’s life. You can determine the tree’s age, when it was harvested, by counting the number of rings.
Bill developed a special three month drying process to prevent the wood from cracking as it loses moisture. The boards are then sanded in preparation of the finishing process. In the same way that a cheese maker must tend to a cheese as it ages, Bill works the cheese board through a ten step finishing system. It is done by hand and it takes a week. The end result is a beautiful rustic functional cheese board that is moisture resistant and food safe.
I appreciate a good Canadian cheese and I think the appreciation is elevated when that cheese is presented on a nice wood cheese board … especially a cheese board made in Canada, from a Canadian tree, by an artist.
Bill has his cheese boards displayed at several retail locations which are listed on his website or you can email him directly at email@example.com to purchase one.
Disclosure: I am not affiliated with this product. I just think they are nice.