A great cheese platter can wow your guests and take any occasion to the next level. Here's how to get yours right.
1. Charlie Kalish of the Cheese Twins recommends that you have some ready-cut pieces of cheese (either wedges or thin slices) ready for your guests. “The trick is to distribute everything evenly. Each slice should have the same rind-to-cheese ratio,” he says.
2. Serve your cheese with cured meats like prosciutto, jamon or dried sausages.
3. Serve one cheese as the showpiece, like baked brie.
4. Accompany your cheese with plenty of fresh seasonal fruit to add colour and variety to your platter. Think pears, pomegranate, figs and grapes.
5. Acidic elements like olives and cornichons make great accompaniments as they balance the cheese.
6. Take care when serving outside as soft cheeses can overripen and go sweaty.
7. Serve at least one crusty bread like a baguette or olive bread.
8. A small wedge of honeycomb adds a sweet element to the platter - and it looks amazing, too.
9. If you serve three to five different cheeses, serve two types of crackers – one slightly sweet and the other savory.
10. Decorate the platter with herbs like rosemary and sage.
11. Use a wire to cut cheese. According to Michael of the Cheese Twins, the wire “makes a huge difference in how you prepare cheese. If you use a knife, you can see the slices and the harsh texture, which is fine for hard cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano and Grana Padano because they’re granular cheeses and you want to highlight the craggy chunks. But for a smooth, creamy cheese, you want that clean cut you can only get with a wire.”
12. Serve each type of cheese with a different knife.