When having a party, a cheese plate is a wonderful appetizer that will generally become a focal point with people gathered around chatting. Making a cheese plate doesn’t need to be fancy, but here’s some things to think about when creating your work of art.
RULE 1: Have fun with it
If you aren’t going to enjoy putting this platter together, then just stick a simple cheese and meat tray from the grocery store. Don’t stress about it as it really can be anything you want it to be.
RULE 2: Only get what you can afford
Cheese is Expensive! If you can’t afford to buy 10 different types of cheese, stick to 3-4 cheeses that fit your budget. A standard sharp cheddar, monterey jack, and brie are all reasonably priced cheeses that won’t break your pocket book.
RULE 3: Get different textures
I like to do at least one soft cheese (like a goat cheese) and one semi-firm cheese (like a cheddar). From there, you can add a crumbly cheese (like gorgonzola), or a hard cheese (like parmesan). The key is to add different textures and shapes to catch people’s interest.
RULE 4: Add different meats
If you are making a cheese platter, adding meats is a good way to add more color and texture to your platter. I like to do at least one salami that needs to be sliced, another cured salty meat (like prosciutto), and believe it or not: Baloney! You will be surprised how many people love baloney. And it’s a great way to save your pocket book. I like to get the baloney thick sliced from the deli department instead of the old standard Oscar Mayer.
RULE 5: Add some grapes or other greenery
I like to sprinkle in some grapes and/or vegetables (like celery or carrots) on the cheese platter to give more color and texture. You can even add dried fruits like dates, raisins, cherries, and cranberries. Again, stick to things in your budget and have fun.
Rule 6: Stick with things you or your family likes
You will likely have some leftovers, so make sure you like your choices. The worst is to spend money on a beautiful cheese tray that you won’t eat yourself. So, if you don’t like brie and no one else in your family likes it, don’t get it. Get something they will like (even if it’s american cheese!)
Rule 7: Put it all together with ease
I like to just use my wood cutting board and make a nice big platter. Sometimes though, I’ll have a dinner plate with just a couple of options. Just start laying out your ingredients. Give a little space to cut the meats or cheeses, and sprinkle in the fruit to give color and brightness to the platter. There is no rule here, whatever you do, everyone will love it.
That’s it! Just remember, if you are stressing out, it’s not worth it. Just relax and get what works for you. No stress!
I hope you have fun creating your next cheese platter. Enjoy!