Prepping a Cheese Plate

Cheese courses are so versatile but the details are often overlooked. You can be thematic or randomly grab what you have accessible. It’s also a super easy way to start a party or have a cool dinner without a lot of cooking. Here are some simple tips to have your cheese plate be the star of the show!

  • When it comes to cheese, people have pretty unique and particular tastes.
    • Choose one cheese made with each type of milk — cow, goat, and sheep’s milk.
    • Choose cheeses with different textures. Go for a soft and creamy cheese such as Brie (or a similar artisan-style cheese made in your area); a firmer style cheese such as cheddar (preferably farmhouse), gouda or Gruyère; and a hard grating-style cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano.
    • Funky cheeses are good as solo acts. Pick one and let it shine a little further apart so it doesn’t compete and overpower all the other smells and flavors.
  • Organize your platter with negative space.
    • Don’t over crowd the platter, let each cheese shine and have enough room so you can cut them with ease.
    • Speaking of cutting, offer a different knife with each cheese.
    • Give guests the option of mixing and matching cheese and accompaniments.
    • Label your items so your guests know what they’re getting into!
  • Be ready to serve, plan ahead
    • Serve the cheeses at room temperature for best flavor and texture.
    • Make sure each cheese has a match
  • Matches are made
    • Before dinner, whet the appetite with savory items: olives, nuts, cured meats, caramelized onions, blanched crudite or even balsamic vinegar.
    • Before dessert, sweeten things up with honey, jelly or jam, an in season fruit,
    • Breads and crackers are always appropriate. Keep to three textures and three flavors, i.e. a  sesame cracker, a baguette and a rye toast.

What are your favorite cheese platter items?

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