How to Make a Great Cheese Plate

Variety of cheeses and accompaniments on a cheese plate
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Nothing says “classy” quite as well as a cheese plate. Not the ones that have large quantities of cheese strewn on a platter. We’re talking about the cheese plates that have a sampling of high-quality cheeses and are placed on an official cheese board. When it comes to creating a cheese plate of this caliber, some rules should be followed. That doesn’t mean you need to find a gourmet cheese shop either, you can find most of these cheeses at the supermarket. Simply choose one cheese from each of the following categories:

Blue Cheese

Blue cheese is an acquired taste, but when you choose the right one you’ll make all your guests happy. This is the type of cheese that contrasts nicely with the other cheeses in your lineup. The color is unique and so is the flavor! However, it’s important to choose a solid wedge, not crumbled blue cheese.

Cheddar

Cheddar cheese will likely be the crowd favorite, so make sure that you buy a larger amount of this cheese than the others. Select a sharp version of this cheese or even extra sharp if you can find it. Make sure the cheese had been aged for at least a few months.

Chèvre

Chèvre, a type of soft goat cheese, is also a nice addition to a cheese plate. These cheeses aren’t aged, which means that they will add a lighter flavor to contrast with some of the heavier cheeses. Also consider buying flavored chèvre depending on the season, such as cranberry flavored in the fall when cranberries are in season.

Brie or Camembert

Creamy, ripe cheeses such as Brie or Camembert are also a good addition to your cheese plate. Look for French Brie or Camembert that is slightly aged and not runny. Select one that has been formed into a disk, as well, because it’s easier for guests to cut.

Gouda

Gouda is another popular cheese that makes a nice addition to your cheese plate. This cheese appeals to everyone, even foodies. Try to find Gouda that was made in The Netherlands for authenticity. You want to select an orange-colored Gouda that has been aged. It should be firm while also crumbling slightly when you cut it.

About an hour before your party, remove all the cheeses from the packaging. Find a cheeseboard, cutting board, or a decorative flat plate to assemble the cheeses on. If the surface is fairly small, feel free to cut the cheeses in half or in quarters. You can always replace them when they run low. Resist the urge to cut the cheese into small pieces. Part of the fun of a great cheese plate is to let your guests cut their own cheeses. You can also put out a selection of fruit and some crackers to give people options to complement the cheeses. This is the ideal setup for any kind of party, especially for a wine tasting.

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