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4 Steps to Creating the Perfect Gourmet Cheese Plate

4 Steps to Creating the Perfect Gourmet Cheese Plate

If you're like the rest of us foodies, you've likely come across those stunning photos of beautiful cheese platters (which have left you drooling...). Have you ever wanted to create the perfect gourmet cheese plate, but weren't sure where to start?

Well fear not!

We've created too many cheese plates to count here at Cheesyplace, and we've learned a few things along the way. You may not realize it, but there are actually specific elements that you must include for a cheese plate to be a success.

And with this quick guide, you'll learn exactly what you need to create your own perfect gourmet cheese plate (that your guests are going to love!).

The secret to creating a delicious cheese plate involves more than simply choosing some yummy cheeses and putting them out on a nice platter. There are a few components, that when combined well, will result in something magical!

So let's dig in:

Quick links:

  • Select complementing cheeses
  • Select a variety of condiments
  • follow the three rules for gourmet cheese plates
  • Create a visually pleasing arrangement

    cheesyplace - 4 steps to the perfect cheese platter

    1. Select complementing cheeses

      One thing to always remember is that the best gourmet cheese plates are ones with variety!

      When selecting your cheeses, the best place to start is to choose varieties that range from mild to strong. This will provide many different flavours and textures, from soft, to semi-soft, to hard. You definitely want to make sure that every guest will find something they enjoy.

      It’s also important to arrange the cheeses from mild to strong, so that you can inform your guests of the selections without losing track of what’s what.

      If you aren't able to be present at the cheese plate at all times, label each one.

      2. Select a variety of condiments

      The perfect gourmet cheese plate includes condiments to complement the cheese and add flavour.

      Let's begin with the bread.

      Your cheese platter should include some bread and/or crackers for your guests to enjoy with their cheese. BUT, be careful not to choose anything with a strong flavour that might compete with the cheese.

      Some whole wheat crackers or flavoured varieties have their own taste profiles, which may not work well with your cheese selections. Instead, opt for an elegant French baguette, some water crackers, oat cakes, or any other other mild flavoured cracker.

      Next, you'll want to offer some extra crunch (remember, the perfect cheese platter includes a variety of textures!). Nuts are a perfect condiment—try adding some delicious Spanish Marcona almonds, hazelnuts, or your favourite variety.

      Then you'll want to add something sweet. Sweet condiments are delicious with a platter, as they complement the saltiness in the cheese.

      There are countless options when it comes to pairing sweet condiments. A high quality honey, such as our Rosewood Estates Wildflower Honey or our Rosewood Estates Nutty Honey, (including honey drenched walnuts), are amazing with many cheeses.

      Artisanal jams and jellies are the perfect complement to cheese. Try some of our favourites such as our Dalmatia Fig Jam, an exciting flavour from locally made Kitten & the Bear Jam, or choose from our variety of other artisanal jams and jellies.

      Try including some chocolate, dried fruits, and fresh acidic fruits and berries such as raspberries, strawberries, and kiwis (they are not only delicious with cheese, but will also make for a stunning platter!).

      To keep things neat, serve honey, jams, and jellies in small bowls with spoons alongside your plate.

      Finally, offer a few other items for your guests to snack on. Add some gourmet olives and cured meats to your platter and you're good to go!

      cheesyplace - 4 steps to perfect cheese platter

        3. Follow the three rules to gourmet cheese plates

        Now that you have your delicious cheeses and condiments, it's time to put it all together.

        Here are the 3 tips:

        1. Always serve your cheese at room temperature. If you take only one thing away from this article, make sure this is it! You see, cold cheese just isn't as flavourful. This is because of the fat content (what makes cheese so yummy is the fat content!).

        When cheese is cold, the fat molecules contract, keeping all of that delicious flavour from reaching your tongue. But, as the cheese warms to room temperature, the molecules relax and the flavour is released.

        Not only is the flavour better, the texture is superior and the aromas of the cheese become more noticeable. You'll notice the difference the most in soft cheeses like Brie. Out of the fridge, it's often bland and rubbery. But leave that Brie to warm up, and the texture becomes rich and creamy, and the subtle flavours and aromas really come out!

        Typically, you should remove your cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, but harder cheeses can take a little longer. Keep your cheese covered while it is warming to keep it from drying out.

        2. Make sure that there is enough room on the cheese plate for your guests to cut the cheese. If you don't have enough room, don't worry—simply prepare pre-cut slices in advance.

        3. If guests will be slicing their own cheese, have a cheese knife available for each variety. A thin bladed knife or one with holes in it is perfect for softer cheese, while a sturdier blade is excellent for hard cheeses.

        4 steps to the perfect cheese platter - cheesyplace

        4. Create a visually pleasing arrangement

        As with any gourmet spread, presentation is extremely important! Put simply, when food looks good, we are more likely to enjoy how it tastes. A nicely arranged gourmet cheese platter will give your well thought-out cheese selections the presentation they deserve.

        Simply tossing some items together on a plate will not do your cheese justice!

        When it comes time for placement, less is more. You never want to overcrowd a plate. So give each cheese and pairing option with plenty of space to emphasize the composition.

        If you have to refill the plate, you can always do so.

        More than anything, get creative and have some fun!

        Now that you have the basics, go forth and create your own stunning cheese platter! As with anything, you will have to try different options to find what you like the best. Just remember to always choose a variety.

        Got some tips of your own to add? Please share them in the comments section!

        Still not quite sure to choose for your platter? Want an easier option? We ship our Cheese Samplers and Cheese of the Month Club with at least 3 carefully selected gourmet cheeses and 1-3 condiments. No guesswork!

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