Preparing the Perfect Cheese Plate

cheese plateI love cheese before or after a meal. In fact, I would choose cheese and a glass of wine over coffee and chocolate for dessert. It’s a nice way to finish off your bottle before moving on to a dessert wine.

Served at the beginning of a casual meal, function or picnic, the Antipasto style party platter may contain cheese, olives, pate, dips, crackers, cured meats, pickled vegetables and/or crudités (vegetable sticks).

Here are some tips to making the most of your cheese plate.

1. Choosing What to Serve
As a guide, choose a Soft White cheese like Camembert, a Blue and a firmer style – such as Vintage Cheddar, Gruyere or Swiss-style cheese.  For added interest, particularly if you are catering for a crowd, perhaps include a Goat’s cheese or Washed Rind cheese.

2. Add your Accompaniments.Pullquote Two River Choose fruit that are in season, nuts, crackers or breads. I love including a fruit paste like a fig spread or honey. If thesis all you’re serving, you can include cured meats like prosciutto, sopresseta, salami and a few varieties of olives.

3. How Much to Serve
Choose about 3-4 cheese for 10-12 people and 20-30 grams of each cheese per person.

4. Arranging Your Plate
Remove most cheeses from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes in advance. Cut only what you expect to use and refrigerate the rest. Selecta plate large enough to arrange all your cheeses next to each other but not touching. Cut a few starting slices to prompt folks to dig in.

5. Serving
Provide guests with a separate knife for each cheese and a utensil to put it on their plate.

meat and cheese plate

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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine and Caribbean Travel & Life, Heather is chauffeur to 3 busy kids; the president of her Home and School Association; and VP of Marketing for TipsFromTown. And she's passionate about all 3!

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