Who doesn’t love a good appetizer? Preparing a cheese plate can be an easy way to create a beautiful appetizer that everyone loves. With the option of preparing a cheese plate for a get-together, you can pick and choose the types of items you would wish to display. This way, people are able to sample all the different options you provide. Depending on what cheeses you buy, you can often find the cheese you want at a regular supermarket. If you want fancier cheeses, you are looking at higher prices and shopping at specialty food stores.
While it can be enjoyable to eat the cheese straight from the plate to your mouth, it can be nice to set it on something. There are all sorts of crackers and breads to choose from to do so. With the option of a cracker you can pile more toppings on such as cheese and a piece of fruit or nut. A toasted slice of french bread adds a nice crisp with the smooth cheese. Try a different cracker flavors as well, such as rosemary, pepper, and olive oil that add subtle hints in your bite.
There are a lot of options when it comes to preparing your cheese plate. You will want to choose 3 or 4 cheese that are different from each other and bring different flavors to your palate.
- Soft: Both Swiss and Gouda are soft enough to slice up, but still hold their shape. These two are diverse in flavor, but still great accompaniments to your plate. Gouda has smoky undertones and is mild. Swiss has a nutty, sweet flavor.
- Sharp: Blue cheese and cheddar are two great examples of a sharp cheese. Everyone knows what cheddar is, so throwing in a white cheddar will be familiar to those who aren’t as knowledgable with their cheeses. The crumbly blue cheese is also paired nicely with grapes or apples because the sweetness contrasts well with the sharpness.
- Creamy: Creamy cheese are perfect for spreading on any piece of cracker or bread. Brie will always be a favorite. This cheese is great on it’s own, but tastes fantastic with other pairings. It has a subtle sharpness to it as well. Goat cheese is another soft cheese good for spreading. This tastes fantastic on french bread or a flavored cracker.
- Flavored: There are so many fun ingredients that can be mixed in with traditional cheeses. You have garlic, peppers, truffles, spices and more found in cheese. Pick a new flavor to try and surprise other guests as well.
When there are other flavors being mixed in with your cheese bite, it can bring out the cheese flavors even more. Fresh or dried fruit is a personal favorite. The sweetness of figs, cranberries, apples, or grapes are just a few examples of the fruit that go great in preparing a cheese plate. Nuts such as almonds or walnuts add a rich crunch to the softness of the cheese.
If you want to add a little more protein in your cheese plate, then venturing over into meats is a great place to go. Whether it be salami, prosciutto, or another cured meat, it adds a little more flavor to your appetizer. The saltiness of the meat compliments any other ingredient on your plate whether that be cheese, fruit, or nut.
Half the fun of preparing a cheese plate is making it look nice. There are so many other ways to present the cheese, rather than setting it on a plate. Finding a nice platter, wood plate, or marble slab are great options for the cheese to sit on. If you are entertaining a crowd not familiar with their cheeses, then even adding small labels on the cheese is a good way to distinguish between the kinds.
Preparing a cheese plate is a great idea for your next party. Easy to assemble, easy to grab, and tastes really good. Spend less time in the kitchen preparing food, and more time with your guests enjoying the company of one another. You’ll be happy, and you’ll be eating great cheese. Win win!