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CHEESE PLATTER SUGGESTIONS

I get a lot of questions about cheese platters, so here are a few tips

that may help you with your next gathering!

CHEESE PLATTER TIPS

How many cheeses?

There are as many answers to this question as there are cheeses!

The bottom line is…..it’s your party!  I usually like to serve 4 to 6 different types of cheeses as an appetizer if I am having a party for 20 or so people.  If having only a few guests, then I will usually serve only 2 or 3 cheeses.  If you have a remarkable cheese and you want to showcase a single cheese, do that!

Accompaniments:

The types of cheese you are serving should decide the accompaniments.

  • If you are serving a soft and rich brie, then you may want to choose an earthy jam, like fig or a subtly sweet-tangy tangerine or orange preserve. Grapes or fresh figs also go well with brie
  • Bleu cheese is its own best friend! I like to serve it drizzled with a robust honey, like avocado or eucalyptus (if you don’t live in California, you may not be able to find these…any honey you like will do). Lavendar honey is more delicate and just fabulous with a really nice bleu cheese.  Pear slices are also a nice accompaniment to bleu.
  • Swiss and gruyere: Almonds, walnuts, cashews, and dried apricots or pear slices. Rye cocktail bread or rye crackers are also good.
  • Cheddar:  Try serving cheddar with a spiced quince spread or tomato or other chutney. I also like to serve cheddar with plain, thinly sliced crusty bread and good quality balsamic vinegar.
  • If you are serving Italian cheeses, consider making an antipasto platter and serve with olives, nuts, salami, proscuitto, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.
  • You can decide on either serving plain crackers (like water crackers) or flavored crackers. Just be sure that the flavor of the cracker doesn’t overwhelm the taste of the cheese. I would avoid cheesy or vegetable flavored crackers. Plain crostini works well with most platters as does sliced breads, such as cocktail rye or whole wheat or thinly sliced French or Italian bread.
  • If you want to focus on the cheese, then avoid the crackers and bread and serve with the accompaniments I have suggested or EXPERIMENT!

Arranging your platter:

  • Arrange cheeses from mild to strong and young to old
  • Look to create contrast and try to alternate types of milk (cow, sheep, goat, etc.)
  • End with bleus because the stronger acids pierce your palate and the sharp flavor lingers.
  • Set the cheese out at least half an hour before eating to bring them up to room temperature before serving.
  • Offer a different knife with each cheese.
  • Quantity for cheese as hors d’ oeuvres: 1 to 2 ounces of each cheese per person
  • Quantity for cheese as a dessert course: 1 to 1 ½ ounces of cheese per person
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