Your Ultimate Guide To Cheese Platters
The How's and What's
Cheese platters, also known as charcuterie boards, are ideal for any gathering because they often contain the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors.
I don’t know about you, but I think a cheese platter is more than just putting some cheese and cold cuts on a board and serving them with crackers or bread. I see it as a type of art and a way to first delight your guests’ eyes before satisfying their stomachs.
As we approach the holiday season, I’d like to offer my secrets for making the best cheese platters in the hopes of inspiring you with some party tray ideas. Selecting the correct wine, cheese, crackers, meats, and other accompaniments requires a lot of thought, but hopefully, with my recommendations, it will be a simple process and you will master the art of making beautiful meat and cheese platters for your visitors.
While knowing the art of making cheese platters is a talent in itself you can also order them online for your gatherings if you are out of time. Cheese platters are easily available to order online and come beautifully assorted.
Choosing the right cheese for your cheese platter
Try to always make an effort to incorporate a range of textures and flavors of cheese. The majority of cheeses fall into one of four categories: aged, soft, firm, or blue.
Choose at least one from each group for a good variety. You can also choose cheeses based on the type of milk used (cow, goat, sheep). This will ensure that the platter has a variety of flavors. Serve at least one cheese that you are familiar with.
Some examples include:
Aged: Aged Cheddar, Comte, Goat gouda
Firm: Parmigiano-Reggiano, Manchego, Mimolette
Soft: Camembert, Constant Bliss, Brillat-Savarin
Blue cheese: Gorgonzola Dolce, Stilton, and Valdeón
One ounce of each cheese per guest is a good rule of thumb, and about five types of cheese are sufficient for any size gathering.
Also, Read 31 Best Goat Cheese Pizza Recipes
What to put on your cheese platter?
A variety of Bread and Crackers
Bread in various shapes and sizes, such as sliced baguettes, breadsticks, etc. It’s a good idea to mix up the flavors and textures of the bread with different cheeses. Crackers also make up a huge part of cheese platters as they add a crunch to the cheese platter.
Olives and Pickles
The sharp and tangy flavor of olives and pickles is always nice on a cheeseboard. Even though they are savory. I normally serve a mix of black and green olives with cornichon, but you can use any olives and pickles you choose.
Jarred condiments and vegetables
They are convenient and easy to prepare. Sweet preserves or honey, tart chutneys, and spicy mustards are all good choices. Artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and caponata are other good additions. Tomato dips and sauces like basil pesto also add amazing flavors. Basil pesto is a loved sauce as it goes amazingly well with cheeses of all kinds.
A variety of sweet and salty things can also be used
Prosciutto and salami, as well as candied almonds and pistachios, are excellent choices. Figs, cherries, apples, and pears are among the seasonal and dried fruits available.
Fruits and Berries
Now that you’ve mastered the basic elements, it’s time to add your own flair. For a natural sweetness to balance off the cheese, add your favorite berries, sliced apples, or dried fruit. Fill up any gaps with pecans, walnuts, and almonds. It’s best if the platter is overflowing.
Don’t forget to Garnish
Adding bundles of rosemary or other spices is crucial to making the ultimate cheese presentation. You may even use colored toothpicks to decorate cheese cubes.
The options for products to include on your cheese platter are unlimited, and you can keep experimenting with them.
How to Arrange your Cheese Platter
Before I let you go, I’d like to take a few minutes to discuss the aesthetics of assembling a cheese and charcuterie board. While the possibilities are unlimited, here are some points to keep in mind while preparing a cheese platter.
- To set it all up, use a wooden cutting board, rustic wood cheese plate, or a cut marble. If you’re feeding a large group and those options aren’t enough, you can get a piece of wood cut to your specifications.
- Make sure your cheeses are suitable for eating with fingers. To put it another way, you want your guests to be able to pick it up without using a utensil or a toothpick. If the cheese is firm, you can finely slice it or cut it into smaller bite-size bits.
- If the cheese is soft and spreadable, place a cheese knife nearby so that the visitors may spread it simply on their crackers or toast.
- When laying the cheese on the platter, make sure to leave enough space on each side so that you may alternate the cheese with the meat and fill in the gaps with little crackers, nuts, and fruits to make it look full.
- Make space in between cheeses and crackers to place dips and sauces like arrabbiata sauce, basil pesto, or chimichurri as they pair well with almost everything on your cheese platter.
- You won’t have to recite the names of the cheeses all evening if you label them. If you want, write down a few lyrical adjectives to describe their flavors as well.
- Set aside a knife for each type of cheese, especially the soft ones. A butter knife works well for soft cheeses, a paring knife for firmer cheeses, and a cheese plane for older cheeses.
- Remove the cheese from the fridge one hour before serving because cold cheese dulls the flavor.
A well-curated meat and cheese platter is a simple but beautiful way to transform an otherwise uninteresting snack into a gourmet dish that is both tasty and visually appealing.