A cherished appetizer for pre-dinner nibbles and cocktail parties alike, the cheese plate is a symphony of spectacular flavors and textures – savory and sweet, crunchy and creamy – yum! To help you next time you prepare one of these scrumptious spreads, here are my MBB-approved tips for the perfect cheese plate. Enjoy!
Cheese Board and Knives: Choose a large board, such as the frosted glass one shown above by Michael Aram or one by Williams-Sonoma, to house all of the delicious dairy and fruit delicacies. Often times a cheese knife or two will come with the board, however if not, here is a beautiful option.
Cheese: Opt for three cheeses (keep in mind you can tailor this to the number of people you’ll be serving), including a blue cheese, hard cheese, and soft cheese, as this will ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy. Blue cheese includes stilton, gorgonzola, and roquefort, so do a taste test to decide which pleases your palate. Hard cheeses to consider include gruyere and sharp cheddar. For soft cheeses, creamy brie and herbed goat cheese are delightful.
Fruit: Berries, grapes and thinly sliced apple or pear represent a fabulous accompaniments to fromage and give your guests something sweet to nosh on. Consider also serving some dried fruit, such as luscious apricots.
Crisps: Adding a little crunch to the mix, include some crisps. You can offer one type of crisp or several, depending upon your preferences. Dotted with dried fruit and nuts, Raincoast Crips are my cracker of choice and in one word, heavenly!
Jams and Jellies: A delicate drizzle of flavor for your cheese, pepper jelly, fig jam, and honey add a glorious sweet finish. Try the honey with blue cheese, it’s divine!
Cheese Markers: A fun extra and by no means mandatory, cheese markers are tiny labels for the cheese so your guests can decipher which is which. You can purchase pre-labed markers or porcelain markers with an erasable pen so you can customize them each time you entertain.