Assembling a cheese platter or cheese table is easier than you can imagine. Just follow these simple rules, and you will have an impressive spread.
- Variety is key, mix both flavors and textures
- Add Fruit
- Fresh fruits- figs, grapes, pears, berries. Use what is in season.
- Dried fruits- Medjool dates, apricots, cranberries. The sky is the limit; choose two or three dried fruits, or mix with fresh fruit for different tastes and textures.
- Add crusty bread or crackers
- Use plain crackers to experience the full flavor of the cheese. Add flavored crackers to enhance the experience.
- Baguettes, olive bread, or a nice fruit and nut bread will go well with assorted cheeses.
- Add condiments, such as honey, Quince paste, or nuts
- We have an extraordinary assortment of imported nuts, honeys, and fruit pastes. You can go the traditional route, Manchego with Quince paste, or try something new like pear mustard sauce with Fromager D’Affinois. Ask your cheese monger for suggestions.
- Add meats
- Cured meats such as Prosciutto di Parma, Jamon Serrano, Iberico Jamon, and/or Salumi.
- You should plan on 1 1/2- 2 ounces of each cheese for each person, if you are serving 5 cheeses. Decrease the amount if tasting more cheese, and increase the amount if serving fewer cheeses.
- Bring cheese to room temperature before serving. This usually takes approximately 1 hour and will help in developing the flavor and aroma.
- Use separate knives for different varieties of soft cheeses and blues.
- Suggest that guests sample the cheeses from mildest to the strongest flavor. If possible, arrange them in order.
How to Serve Your Cheese
- Slate, Marble or Stone:
- Slate, marble and stone tiles not only look beautiful, but they help keep the cheese cool as well. These can be picked up from your local hardware store or local Bristol Farms.
- You can use any flat surface as a platter. Cover it with linen napkins or grape leaves to enhance the look.
- Straw Mats and Wicker Trays:
- Give your display an authentic look with straw mats and wicker trays. These are usually inexpensive, beautiful, and functional. The Straw or Wicker allows the cheese to breathe and prevents condensation.
Cutting Tips and Storage
- When preparing cheese samplers, present different cheese varieties in different shapes. This will help guests easily identify the different varieties.
- Cut soft cheese while it is still cold. This will help keep the lines clean, and makes them easier to handle.
- Buy what you need for the given occasion.
- Wrap leftover cheese in waxed butcher paper or waxed paper to allow the cheese to breathe.
- Wrap blue cheese in plastic to avoid cross contamination in your refrigerator.