Top tips for cheese platter making  

For the love of Cheese

A good cheese platter is one of my favourite things. No it's not good for the waistline, and it probably isn't a feature of many diet regimes, but I just love relaxing with a glass of wine and a cheese platter with the hubby. I also can’t say no to an easy cheese platter over a leisurely chat with an old friend. When it comes to the fun, noisy, laughter-filled lunch with the girls, it’s all about the cheese and antipasto platter. Heck I even take an easy (problem solved) cheese platter to playgroup!

For the love of Cheese

A good cheese platter covers everything you “feel” like eating, and it covers everything you need. With each chunk of cheese spread onto a lavosh cracker, your palate is getting little bits of sweetness, of salty, bitterness, and yes even a bit of “funky.”

 

Think about it, do you feel like …….


Something a little comforting, creamy and luscious?

Something fresh and cleansing like fresh apple and pear slices, maybe some cucumber, fig, or grapes?

Something salty like a good cured meat or decadent white anchovies?

Something rebellious like a good ol’ stinky blue paired with a bitter and sweet compote?

 

Of course If you feel like going totally outrageous you could always add truffles and a white gold stilton. Cheese with gold flakes, because you are so worth it!

 

Cheese platters don't have to be complicated or overdone. I once heard a rule about assembling the perfect cheese platter – “something old, something new, something stinky, something blue.” It's a pretty easy thing to follow.

When it comes to putting together your perfect cheese plate, here’s your guide:

 

Something Old – think an old, vintage or aged cheese. Look for cheddar, Gouda or pecorino.

Something New – think Camembert, Brie and 'light' cheddars, Gruyere, Gouda or chèvre

Something Stinky – think Raclette and washed rind cheeses like taleggio phhhhheewwww!

Something Blue – think Gorgonzola, Roquefort, or Stilton.

 

Put a slab of each on your cheese board and you’ve covered everyone's tastes.

 

But if this guide is a little too extravagant, or simply too much cheese for your social purpose, then a single good quality cheese with a few quality and flavour paired accompaniments can solve your needs.

 

For your next low-key cheese plate, pick up the best Brie you can find (something triple cream), add some gorgeous fresh crusty bread, and a nice sweet paste or candied fruit and you’re in for the luscious tasting session. Ahh gives me goosebumps.

 

Accompaniments Cheese Platter How To

There are many fancy accompaniments for cheeses. A quick google search will find you some amazing matches that will get the mouth watering. I’d love to try some wildflower infused honey with my gorgonzola, and I’m sure one day I will. But most of the time I just want easy supermarket or deli shelf supplies to partner with my cheese. Something we can all enjoy.

You’ll find you’ll start to match with the things you like. There’s no true right or wrong, you can’t stand next to your platter and say, “ah no no don't pair that cornichon with the stilton!” I wouldn't advise it. But you can suggest natural pairings by putting the recommended match next to the cheese you think would make best companions.

 

They may not be the bona fide options, but they’re a good start. For accompaniments, here’s my go-to suggestions:

  1. Make sure you start with some water crackers or fine wafers. Get the plain ones. I know I love the cracked pepper, and you may prefer the rosemary, but you want to be tasting and savouring the flavours of your cheese not the crackers.

  2. For creamy Brie or Camembert, pair with slices of a fresh french stick, dried apricots, fresh grapes, or edamame.

  3. With Cheddars or Gruyere, go with dark, heavy breads like Rye or Pumpernickel. Then add celery, apple, muscatels, pickled onion or even a good chutney.

  4. And Blue Veined cheese, you’re going to want something sweet like fig or strawberry preserve, a honey drizzle, or candied fruits like fig, ginger or apricot.

 

Other accompaniments you might like:

OIive Oil or oat crackers, mini toasts, red grapes, pistachios, walnuts, mustard, or olives

 

Presentation

Use a platter or board that is big enough so that there’s a bit of space around each cheese. You don't want to be awkwardly trying to get a piece of cheese on a tiny cheese knife whilst strategically not knocking the accompaniments onto the table.

 

Serve your cheese at room temperature. They say lay it out an hour before serving, but you know, take into account the room temp. You want your brie soft and slightly oozy not melted and turning your crackers soggy.

 

Speaking of crackers…  I like to put a few of the crackers, wafers, sticks, bread, or whatever “vehicle” you’re using on the platter and serve the rest in a separate bowl or plate. No one likes soggy biscuits, and they might look pretty all laid out but they get messed up and in the way very quickly. Keep your cheese plate clean.

 

There’s nothing wrong with pre cutting or scoring your cheese, it's a good idea really.  It gives a guide on portion, and helps to make that first piece come out. You’ll find your guests are often reluctant to be the first to dive in. Remember to have enough knives for each cheese.


If all of this sounds a bit too technical, your main rule when it comes to assembling your perfect cheese plate is – go with what you love and keep it simple. Buy good quality cheese, accompany with a basic base, and pair a well matched accompaniment that you love.

Cheese platters are often the perfect excuse to have a gathering. They’re also the best excuse to decant that dusty bottle of red on the top shelf. Give me a slab of cheese, a glass of vino, and a friend to share it with and I’m in heaven.

Cheese love Making of a good cheese platter

 

 

“Give me a good sharp knife and a good sharp cheese and I’m a happy man.”
― George R.R. Martin

 

“You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.”
― Anthony Bourdain, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

 

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Comments  

0 # Liz Good Things 2015-10-20 15:44
Thank you for great instructions on compiling a cheese platter!
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0 # Lorelei 2016-02-18 21:16
Yum, love a good cheese platter. Can make a great "snacky" dinner when it's too hot to cook too!
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