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?