How to Craft An Insta Worthy Cheese Plate
Few things make my happier in life than a beautifully prepared cheese plate. And few things make me sadder than seeing pre-cut slices of cheddar cheese lined up in a row along side packaged crackers or slices of salami.
In my mind, I liken preparing a cheese plate to Michelangelo preparing to paint the Sistine Chapel. A well crafted platter should look like an epic painting and should be as visually appealing as it is gustatorily satisfying. Follow these easy steps below to create a memorable cheese plate that your guests are sure to ooo and ahhh over at your next event.
Pick a Theme: Your cheese plate should compliment your meal and introduce your guests to the flavors they will be experiencing in the subsequent courses. My most successful themes are often based on choice of cuisine such as Italian, Mediterranean, French, etc. This can help focus the choice of cheeses as well as accoutrements.
Pick a plate: If you don’t have a fancy cheese board, a nice wooden cutting board is often a good substitute. Fancy cheese knives are wonderful gifts to give a host but if you don’t have any on hand, a small paring knife, or small butter knife for soft cheeses will do.
Rule of 3: I recommend picking 3 cheeses. There is something about an odd number of cheeses on a platter that is visually appealing and nice to work with when crafting your perfect cheese painting.
Mix your milks and your textures: Working within a theme, select a mix of cheeses from different animals such as goat, cow, sheep, etc. In addition, pick a mix of soft and hard cheeses to create diversity on the plate and pallet. French/European Cheeses: Triple crem brie, Comte, Boursin, Grueyere, Gouda. Italian Cheeses: Mozzarella, Parmesan, Asiago, Ricotta, Fontina. Greek/Mediterranean: Feta, Halloumi, Manchego. All Time Favorites: Midnight Moon.
Add some color: A well crafted cheese plate should be colorful and appealing as most people eat with their eyes first. I like to shop for the prettiest fruits and vegetables, selecting a wide range of colors. Some pretty additions can be radishes, peas in a pod, and multi colored carrots. Also your cheese plate can be a great excuse to use up the extra bits of dried fruit or nuts that have been hanging out in your pantry for weeks. In addition, always top off the plate with some fresh greenery. Thinking about your theme can also help guide your colorful additions, for example for a mediterranean plate, I would be sure to add plenty of olives, cucumbers, and small colorful tomatoes. Most people enjoy their cheeses paired with crackers or bread, so simply arranging some crisps around the platter or breaking up some crusty bread can go a long way.
Finally, don’t forget to let it rest, most cheeses are even more delicious when allowed to rest for an hour or so at room temperature. This works great when entertaining as you can prepare your cheese plate in advance and have it resting for when guests arrive.
For inspiration… I love following @dennistheprescott on instagram, his platters are pure artwork and have been the inspiration behind many of my recent creations.