How To Make a Cheese Platter For Entertaining

Choose Your Board:

  • Consider the size of your party: Options include large wooden boards, slate platters, marble surfaces, or even simple baking sheets.
  • The Right Knives: Soft cheeses need spreaders, while harder ones need sharper knives. Have a small knife for each cheese.
  • Room Temperature is Key: Take cheeses out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving for optimal flavor and texture.

 

Cheese Selection: The Heart of the Platter

Variety is King: Aim for 3-5 different cheeses for a good mix.

Texture Exploration:

  • Soft: Brie, Camembert, goat cheese
  • Semi-soft: Havarti, Gouda, Fontina
  • Firm: Cheddar, aged Gouda, Parmesan
  • Hard: Manchego, Pecorino Romano
  • Blue: Gorgonzola, Stilton, Roquefort

Think Global: Include cheeses from different regions (France, Italy, Spain, etc.) for a worldly selection.

How Much?: Plan on about 1-2 ounces of cheese per person.

 

Accompaniments: Create a Flavor Symphony

Cured Meats (Optional): Prosciutto, salami, sopressata, chorizo

Savory:

  • Olives (variety of colors and flavors)
  • Marinated artichoke hearts
  • Roasted nuts(almonds, cashews, pecans)
  • Pickled vegetables (cornichons, peppers)

Sweet:

  • Seasonal fresh fruit (grapes, berries, figs, pears, apples)
  • Dried fruit (apricots, cranberries, dates)
  • Jams and honey (fig jam pairs well with cheese)

Crackers & Bread:

  • Variety of crackers (water crackers, nut-based, seed-based)
  • Sliced baguette or rustic bread

 

Assembly: It’s Art Time!

  • Anchor Points: Start with small bowls for jams, olives, or nuts. These create visual balance.
  • Cheese Placement: Place pre-cut slices or wedges of cheese around the board, leaving space around each type.
  • Fill the Gaps: Add piles of crackers, scatter cured meats, and arrange fruit in a visually pleasing way.
  • Garnishes: Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme) or edible flowers add a touch of elegance.

 

Additional Tips

  • Labels: Small labels for each cheese help guests explore.
  • Sweet and Savory Balance: Aim to have an equal mix of sweet and savory accompaniments.
  • Make it Seasonal: Incorporate in-season fruits and garnishes.
  • Leftovers?: Wrap leftover cheeses individually and return them to the fridge.

 

Example Platters

  • The Classic: Brie, sharp cheddar, blue cheese, grapes, dried apricots, mixed nuts, water crackers.
  • Italian Flair: Mozzarella, Parmesan, Gorgonzola, olives, prosciutto, dried figs, breadsticks.
  • Adventurous Palate: Goat cheese, Manchego, aged Gouda, Marcona almonds, fig jam, honeycomb, and rosemary crackers.

Remember, cheese platters are meant to be fun! Experiment, personalize, and enjoy creating a delicious centerpiece for your gathering.

Comments

No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *