Do you love cheese as much as we do?
Your home should never be without great cheese. With the holidays just around the corner, you never know who’ll be stopping in. Cheese is the perfect food to serve your friends and family.
You can’t go wrong with a cheese plate. Cheese is loved by most people, it can be prepared quickly, it looks and tastes great, it’s relatively inexpensive, and it’s easy to store in your refrigerator.
Here are some simple steps to creating a crowd-pleasing cheese platter.
Select a variety. Four to five different kinds is sufficient for a cheese plate. Choose contrasting colors, textures, and flavors, as well as one from each type of milk–goat, sheep, and cow. Cheese can be divide in 4 basic categories. To keep things interesting, try to select one from each group. Here are just a few of your options.
- Aged Cheeses: Cheddar, Gouda, Swiss, Asiago
- Soft Cheeses: Brie, Camembert, Brillat-Savarin
- Firm Cheeses: Gruyere, Jarlsberg, Monterey Jack, Provolone, Manchego, Mimolette, Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Blue Cheeses: Stilton, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Cabrales
Add the accompaniments. The items below will complement your cheese and bring out its best flavor.
- baguette, crackers, and breadsticks
- olives, nuts
- chutney, jam, honey
- fresh apples, pears, plums, grapes, strawberries, melon, cantaloupe, kiwi (dried fruits like cranberries, dates, cherries, figs, and apricots work well too)
- prosciutto or salami
Arrange it all on a large platter. Serve your cheese on a slab of slate or marble, a wood cutting board, or a large platter. Cheese tastes best at room temperature, so take the cheese out of the refrigerator about 45 minutes before it will be served. Leave space between different varieties and supply a separate knife for each cheese. Place soft cheese whole on the plate. Other cheese should be cut into wedges before placing on the serving platter. Label the cheese so guests know what they are eating. Write the names of your cheese on small cards and set them on the platter. Or write directly on a piece of slate. Have fun arranging the cheese plate and your guests are sure to love it!
Don’t forget the beverages! Some food and drinks were meant to be enjoyed together. Here are some of our favorite pairings.