Difficulty level: Medium
Cheese plates can be simple or elaborate, with dozens of different cheeses or just a few. There’s no one right way to make a cheese plate, but these guidelines can help you put together a cheese plate you and your guests will never forget.
Types of Cheese
The first thing to think about is the different types of cheese. You want to offer a variety of flavors, colors, and textures. So for a really elaborate cheese plate, you would choose at least one cheese in each of the following categories:
- Types of milk: cow, goat, ewe
- Textures: soft, hard, Brie-style, mild, strong
- Added flavorings: herbs, spices, nuts, peppers
- goat cheese
- fromage blanc (soft)
- Asiago (hard)
- Havarti (mild)
- Roquefort (strong)
- Cotswold with onion and chives
Consider varying the presentation of the different cheeses. For example, you might provide a whole triangle of Brie, slices of Asiago, Roquefort crumbles, and cubes of Havarti.
Any good cheese plate must be accompanied by bread and possibly crackers as well.
Jazz up your cheese plate with some edible garnishes:
- dried fruit
- Cheeses are best when served at room temperature. You can make the cheese plate ahead of time, then keep it in the fridge until about an hour before you eat it.
- If you don’t have a cheese slicer, you can use a potato peeler to cut thin slices of hard cheeses like Parmesan and Asiago.
- Provide a separate cheese knife for each cheese that needs to be cut or spread, as well as toothpicks for any cubed cheeses.
- Label each cheese. There are neat slate platters available, on which you can write the name in chalk, or you can just tape a piece of paper on a toothpick and stick it in the cheese.
- Serve alongside a plate of crudités.