The Perfect Plate
Eventhough the holidays have passed, we say it’s always the right time for a cheese plate. Perfect for last minute guests, baby and wedding showers, for Friday night happy hour…when isn’t a good time for wine and cheese pairings? Here are our picks for putting together the perfect plate.
Select produce items that are in season. This way, everything always looks fresh and delicious. To figure out how much cheese to buy, plan on 3-4oz of cheese per person and include at least three different types of cheese on the platter. Consider: soft cheese, like brie or camembert, a semi-hard cheese like an aged cheddar, fontina, or smoked gouda, and a hard cheese like parmigiano reggiano. Blue cheese is popular to include as well.
When arranging your platter, try to play with different heights and keep the arrangement compact. Use a large slate cheese board, wood or marble cutting board or any fun tray. Place large chunks of cheese in different corners, with the tallest cheese on the edge so it’s easier to slice. Then fill in with small bowls of nuts, olives, and fruit preserve. Finally, fill in any free space with cured meats. This is such a great style of presentation and guests will love it!
Noir White Marble Chopping Board available through Objets, Ltd.
Arteriors Charles Tray available through Objets, Ltd.
Along with cheese selections, include savory extras and sweet extras – plus crackers and or bread. Ideas for each:
Savory extras: marinated olives, raw nuts, smoked nuts, prosciutto, salami, bread sticks, artichoke hearts. Be sure to check out the olive bar and bulk bins for good deals on olives and nuts.
Sweet extras: fresh fruit (any kind but especially grapes, berries, apricots, and fresh figs,) dried fruit, jam (fig jam is an excellent addition) and honey.
Arteriors Sofia Large Tray available through Objets, Ltd
An important tip for your plate: let cheeses rest on the counter for at least 30 minutes before serving as it tastes very different at room temperature. Room-temperature cheese reveals flavor subtleties better than cold cheese does—and is more enjoyable to eat. Also think about letting guests slice their own semi-hard cheese versus pre-slicing it, as cheese slices can dry out around the edges if left to sit for too long. Hard cheeses, like parmesan, are ok to crumble a bit to show guests how to enjoy it.
Arte Italica Merletto Square Platter available through Objets, Ltd.
Arteriors Exton Narrow Tray available through Objets, Ltd.
Last of all…ENJOY every amazing bite!