Perfect Your Perfect Cheese Platter
The party season is upon us! Whether you’re entertaining friends and family or want to impress at the office party, cheese boards are consistent crowd-pleasers.
First things first: You don’t actually need a board. Any flat surface will do. You can also use marble boards, wicker trays, even stone or slate tiles.
We mined our Cheese guide, quizzed our Certified Cheese Professionals (CCP), and checked with expert sources to get the basics on how to create the perfect, and perfectly easy, cheese board.
Next, choose your cheeses.
Lindsay Swinson, our Central Market Dallas CCP, offers three tips to creating a flawless cheese board:
Know your audience: Says Lindsay, “Be accepting of fads, health regulations, and picky eaters. Opt for fall cheeses like Gruyère and Alpine cheeses. You also don't want to be the person caught serving raw milk cheese to a pregnant lady. The higher bacterial count can cause complications with developing fetuses and people with immune systems that are not in their prime. And we all have fallen to those picky eaters, it is hard to go wrong with Havarti or Cheddar in these instances.”
Mix up the textures: “There is a time and a place, specifically for learning purposes, where one should sit down and consume six varieties of Mozzarella, Cheddar, or Brie at once. Let a sharp, crystallized Parmigiano Reggiano wake up your palate after a creamy, unctuous Robiola Bosina. Or let a full, fat, pudgy cheese like Consider Bardwell Farm's Pawlet satiate your taste buds after a bitter, vegetal, yeasty cheese like Abbaye St. Mere.”
Be conscious of the appearance: “Just like in fashion, you shouldn't layer in all of the same color. Don't pair a beige shallot confit with a tan, golden aged English Farmhouse Cheddar. Add blueberry compote instead. Provide an even mix of varying colors in your fruit accompaniment, cheeses (flavored, Blues, aged, washed rind) and accoutrement (spreads, fruit pastes, honey).”
Lisa Matras, Central Market Plano’s CCP, suggests using a theme, like a region or milk type, but she generally agrees it's best to mix up your offerings. Lisa also advises a few famous reference points, like Cheddar or Parmesan.
Lastly, accent with accompaniments.
Rustic bread, crackers, and fresh fruits are popular choices. Try pairing your cheeses with pears, apples, figs, grapes, cranberries, or cherries. Use compotes, jams, and chutneys to add berry flavors.
Easy enough, right? Stop by our Deli and build your own party-worthy cheese platter!