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Posted by on Dec 29, 2015

3 Ways to Make a Cheese Plate

Winning combinations to bring the cheer and cheese to your holiday party

Unless you’re escaping on a six-week vacation soon (if so, send me a postcard!), you’re likely celebrating the holiday season with a mix of friends, family, neighbors and coworkers. While your charming personality is the greatest contribution to a festive gathering, a tasty and memorable cheese plate is a close second. I always enjoy kicking off a dinner party or friendly gathering with a flavorful and low-maintenance cheese plate, because the stress of cleaning the house, timing dinner and wondering how personalities will mesh is quite enough before adding on the expectations of the holidays.

However, picking flavors, mixing and matching accoutrements and navigating textures can befuddle even the most enthusiastic cheese whiz, so remove the guesswork and try one of these winning combinations to bring the cheer and cheese to your holiday party:

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Cheese Plate

The Classic

Cheeses

Soft Cheese: Isigny Sainte-Mère Bonhomme Brie

Aged Cheddar: Borough Market Clothbound Cheddar

Goat Gouda: Yodeling Goat

Creamy Blue: Fourme d’Ambert

Accoutrements

Walnuts

Raspberries

Olives

Salami

Bread and water crackers

 

Around the World

Cheeses

Raw Milk Soft-Ripened: Mons Camembert (France)

Aged Manchego: El Trigal (Spain)

Cave-Aged Emmentaler: Kaltbach (Switzerland)

Blue: Gorgonzola Dolce (Italy)

 

Accoutrements

Marcona almonds

Prosciutto

Organic fig spread

Baguette rounds

Raincoast Crisps

Globally Inspired Cheese Plate

Globally Inspired Cheese Plate

 

The Bold and the Beautiful

Cheeses

Aged Cheddar: Black Creek Cheddar

Aged Goat Cheese: Vermont Creamery Bonne Bouche

Roquefort: Papillon Organic Roquefort

Soft-Ripened Brie (with a rustic, bloomy rind): Cellars at Jasper Hill Harbison

Accoutrements

HoneycombCornichons

CornichonsChocolate-covered nuts (Tip: look for Piedra des Lunas!)

Chocolate-covered nuts (Tip: look for Piedra des Lunas!)
FigsPeruvian drop peppers

Peruvian drop peppersDried fruit crisps and sliced bread

Dried fruit crisps and sliced bread

Cheese Plate

Cheese Plate

 

Choose Your Cheese Adventure

Although those are fail-proof options, don’t be afraid to build your own cheese plate. Set yourself up for success by reading these eight tips first:

  1. Mix it up! Offer a selection of different styles of cheeses. Three to four options work, and plan on two ounces per person.
  2. Let them breath. Letting cheeses “breathe” for an hour before serving enhances the flavors. They should be served at room temperature.
  3. Label each cheese. This way your guests know what they’re enjoying.
  4. Buy at the right time. Purchase cheeses just a day or two before your event so they are at their best.
  5. Befriend our cheesemongers. They can point out what’s best to eat now.
  6. Serve both bread and crackers. Different textures enhance the experience. Some favorites are crostini crackers, water crackers and the baguette.
  7. Don’t forget the savory details. Additions like olives, roasted nuts and marinated vegetables are key.
  8. Add some sweets. The sweetness in fruit complements the saltiness of cheese.

 

Source: BlogsRelease

Jennifer

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