Cheese plate’s are a truly beautiful thing. It’s a platform on which you have the opportunity to combine some of your favorite foods on a pretty platter for basically any social event, ever. Don’t limit yourself to pre-sliced cheddar slices and some crumbly crackers. Use this guide to up your cheese plate game and show everyone how mature and adult you are. Alternatively, use this article to get a dose of food (cheese) porn.
Step 1: Choose your platter wisely
The base to any aesthetically pleasing cheese plate is the vehicle on which everything is served (and let’s be real, when it looks good it tastes even better). I’m personally partial to the wooden cheese board or cutting board because it gives it a rustic, picnic vibe.
Other top contenders that will give your cheese plate a more modern and fancy vibe are slate boards as shown below.
#SpoonTip: Label your cheeses with chalk if using slate so everyone knows what they’re eating
Step 2: Vary your cheese types and place them strategically for maximum aesthetic pleasure
When buying cheese, we would obviously like to hit up wine and cheese specialty stores, as they’ll have the artisan cheeses that so many people, and apparently millennials, like and want.
However, let’s be real. As college students it’s more likely that we’re gonna buy the half priced brie. In reality, it will probably taste just as good. Buy what you know is good or experiment and hope for the best. Your platter will feature enough delicious foods that one bad cheddar won’t kill ya.
Every cheese plate should contain at least three of the four consistencies adequately. Soft cheeses have more moisture and are aged for less time compared to harder cheeses. Harder cheeses are less creamy.
For soft cheeses, you might consider choosing a brie or camembert (brie’s lesser cousin, in my opinion), while the semi-soft cheese category includes options like blue cheese.
I’m pretty sure I could eat a block of brie every day for the rest of my life, and this photo encapsulates exactly why I love wooden cheese boards.
In addition to the soft cheeses, you’ll want a semi-hard cheese like gouda or gruyere as well or a hard cheese like an aged cheddar to fully balance out the flavors and consistencies.
As for placing your cheeses, spread them out over the platter so you can fill out the spaces in between with a variety of other goodies.
I recommend this article to learn more about different cheese types.
Step 3: Choose your cheese vehicle
Almost as important as the cheese is the platform upon which it will be transferred into your mouth. Crackers are everyone’s first thought, but in addition I would recommend adding some slices of French bread to your plate. It will make your plate look even fancier, plus bread and cheese is far superior to cheese and crackers, in my opinion. Bonus points if you warm the slices in the oven just before serving.
Step 4: Add some fruit to make it fancy
Balancing flavors is critical for any dish, and adding fruits like grapes or slices of apple adds another dimension of flavor to your platter while offering a temporary break from consuming hordes of cheese. I personally like to switch between sweet and savory when eating, which is actually explained by science when eating. Alternating between copious amounts of brie and apple slices is not only satisfying but almost tricks me into thinking I’m eating healthy.
Step 5: Protein makes everything better
While it might seem as though this article is advocating to turn a cheese plate into an opportunity to pile every good food on a single platter, the cheese really should be the main component of the platter. However, adding some protein like prosciutto or salami adds a salty dimension that can make a cheese plate an even more substantial appetizer. Plus, prosciutto makes everything better.
Step 6: Finish it off with some fancy sides
To finish off your cheese plate, you might opt to include some other sides in order to balance out all your flavors and give it a finished and impressive look. Grainy Dijon mustard or green olives are crowd pleasers that will allow everyone enjoying your plate to play around with flavor combinations. Even if they go untouched they are good decorative sides that will make your platter look fancy af.