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.