See how to make a delicious spread of fine imported cheese served with fruit, nuts, bread and crackers for Thanksgiving in this Cheese Platter Basics: Tips for the Perfect Spread post. #EverythingButTheTurkey
I don’t know about you, but I squeal like a little girl inside when I walk into a party and there’s a fabulous cheese platter. I. LOVE. CHEESE. It’s that simple. Today I’m sharing with you my Cheese Platter Basics, tips, pairings, serving ideas, and utensils as part of my #EverythingButTheTurkey Blog Series. A well-crafted cheese platter would be perfect for Thanksgiving. Let’s get started!
Cheese Platter Tools:
To craft the perfect cheese platter, you need to start with the tools. Think simple and rustic, like these cheese boards. (Note: some of these are affiliate links.)
Next you’ll need some cheese knives. Each cheese that you have on your board should have its own knife. These are my favorites:
Next you’ll need some cheese labels, because no one wants to repeat the names of cheeses all night long to inquiring quests. And finally my favorite resource for making the perfect spread, The Cheese Course book. It offers suggestions for pairings, fruit and nut accompaniments, and suggestions for presentation. It’s a must, unless you have a cheesemonger in my back pocket because I sure don’t.
Selecting the Perfect Cheese:
- Most cheeses fall into one of these four categories: aged, blue, soft, and firm. For a fabulous cheese platter, try to include different flavors and textures by choosing one cheese from eachcategory. Here are some of my favorites:
- AGED: Aged Cheddar, Gouda, Comte
- BLUE: Stilton, Gorgonzola, Roquefort
- SOFT: Camembert, Zimbro (you’ll thank me later), Goat Cheese
- FIRM: Parmigiano-Reggiano, Manchego, Parmesan
- A sure way to get a range of different flavored cheeses on your plate is by choosing cheeses that are made from different types of milk (goat, sheep, cow).
- Splurge a little when you’re creating a cheese platter, especially when it’s a holiday. You want to serve specialty cheeses that you don’t eat regularly.
How Much to Serve:
- If are serving the cheese as a hors d’oeurve, then you should plan on 1-2 ounces of EACH cheese per person.
- If cheese is the main thing being served, you should plan on 3-4 ounces of EACH cheese per person.
Arranging the Cheese Platter:
- Don’t crowd the cheese platter, no one wants to feel clumsy because their knuckles are bumping into a cheese while trying to cut the one they want.
- Separate strong cheeses from more mild ones, you don’t want cheeses to start tasting like each other.
Cheese Platter Accompaniments:
- Offer many breads and crackers but keep them mild in flavor. Try to stay away from ones with garlic, seeds or herbs. You want the cheese to shine, not the accompaniments.
If you’re serving….
- Before Dinner, serve with savory accompaniments like olives, nuts (my favorite is Marcona Almonds), prosciutto, and chutney.
- After Dinner, serve with sweet accompaniments like fruit (love Concord grapes), dried fruit, toasted nuts, jams, and honey. Or better yet my favorite, Honey Comb.
Cheese Platter Serving Tips:
- Each cheese needs its own knife. You don’t want your cheese selections to start tasting like each other, there’s no fun in that!
- Take the cheese out of the refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving. The cold suppresses the flavor.
And that’s it, my Cheese Platter Basics. Did I miss anything? What are your favorite cheeses to serve?
See Other Everything but the Turkey Posts:
A crunchy, savory snack to serve with your other appetizers and hors d’evours.
A scrumptious little appetizer that’s quick and easy to make.
These tips will get an amazing Thanksgiving rolling at your house!
These printables will get you super organized for Thanksgiving!
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