Cheese Plate Essentials

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My sister Heather is pretty much the biggest fan of cheese plates I know. She started bringing cheese plates to our family holiday parties a few years ago, and ever since, I’ve been testing out (painful, but someone has to do it!) the components that make up a well-rounded cheese plate.

There are 3 things to think of when putting together a cheese plate:

1. The cheese It doesn’t matter if you have 2 cheeses or 6, as long as you make sure they have unique characteristics. I like to pick one cheese from at least a couple categories below:

  • Hard – Aged Cheddar, Asiago, Romano
  • Semi-Hard – Gouda, Gruyere, Manchego
  • Semi-Soft – Blue, Havarti
  • Soft – Brie, Fresh mozzarella, Triple Creme

Make sure you take your cheese out of the fridge at least 1 hour prior to serving. Pair each cheese with the appropriate knife for easy consumption.

2. The delivery mechanism – I like to have a couple options here, some of my favorites:

  • Crusty baguette sliced thin
  • Butter crackers
  • Mini toasts
  • Fruit-studded crackers
  • Homemade croutons

Be sure everything is bite-sized (and replenished when low)!

3. The Accompaniments – You can get as crazy as you want here! I like to choose a few of the following:

  • Fruits (dried strawberries, grapes, jam, pears)
  • Meats (pancetta, prosciutto, salami)
  • ‘Salts’ (gherkins, olives, pickled onions)
  • Nuts (almonds, pistachios, walnuts)

I am a sucker for bubbles, so I usually pair my cheese plates with champagne or prosecco, but red and white wine are equally delicious. I like a nice light pinot noir or sauvignon blanc with my cheese plates.


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