A cheese platter is an assortment of cheese, sometimes served with fruit, nuts or other finger foods which serve to complement the flavours of the cheese. Cheese platters usually also include crackers or other flat breads to eat the cheese with.
Of course, anyone can throw a few crackers on a plate with a few slices of orange cheddar and pass it around the table, but preparing an elegant and professional looking cheese platter is somewhat of an art. If you want to go the extra mile and perfect your cheese platter, here are some special tips:
A Platter of Tips
- If your platter is served before dinner it should contain light cheeses such as fresh mozzarella or goat cheese. After-dinner platters can include stronger tasting cheeses like gouda and bleu cheese or really creamy cheeses.
- Every cheese platter should have a sampling from each family of cheeses: from soft ripened to bleu to firmer style cheese.
- To bring out the full flavour, cheese should be served at room temperature. Remember to take your cheeses out of the fridge at least one hour before you intend to serve them.
- Think about other accompaniments which you can include with your cheeses, such as olives, nuts, dried fruit, jam, and prosciutto.
- Go for quality over quantity. Spend a bit extra on a small piece of high quality cheese and truly savour the sophisticated flavours.
- To turn your cheese platter into a conversation piece, choose a theme to tie all of the cheeses that you choose together. For example, they can all originate from the same country, such as France, Italy or the UK. Or perhaps they can all be made with the same type of milk, such as cowâ€™s milk, sheepâ€™s milk or goatâ€™s milk.
- Think about the types of crackers you will want to serve with your cheese platter. Do they complement the cheeses you have chosen? You might want to avoid using flavoured crackers, as they will distract from the flavour of the cheeses. A good quality and simple plain cracker provides the perfect crunch for the cheese.
- An alternative to using crackers is to use slices of fresh baked baguette instead, which makes for a particularly decadent cheese plate!
- Another important thing to consider is how the guests will serve themselves with the cheese. You should have a cheese knife for each variety of cheese so that the flavours do not contaminate each other. If you have soft and spreadable cheese you will also need an appropriate spreading knife for this as well.
- Donâ€™t forget about presentation! You have gone to all of this trouble to choose delicious cheeses for your platter, so make sure that they look beautiful when you set them on the table. Choose a decorative platter which is large enough to hold them but not too large. You can artfully arrange the cheeses in a design and also include dried fruits, toasted nuts and even edible flowers for colour.
These are just a few tips to remember whenever you want to impress your guests with a delicious and beautiful cheese platter. Enjoy!
Cheese is often used as an appetizer or an after dinner course and the art of choosing cheeses for the platter is a common topic of discussion at mostÂ cooking schools. Here are some tips for serving cheeses to your dinner guests.