The holidays are upon us again, and the New Year is not far behind. With all the outstanding cheeses available, a cheese platter is just one of the many things on your last-minute to-do list. How to serve your favorite cheeses for your favorite people can always feel a little overwhelming. No need. Our five tips for serving the perfect cheese plate will add a check to your holiday to-dos in no time.
1. Be Creative. Wisconsin crafts more than 600 varieties, types, and styles of cheese. A cheese course can follow many themes – try including both mild to strong selections, or serve a “flight” that features different styles of a single cheese variety.
2. Think Presentation. A collection of special cheeses makes a beautiful display. For most occasions, offer three to five different cheeses on a cheese plate. More than this is typically too many for guests to fully enjoy. Choose a platter, wood cheese board, or granite or marble slab to bring out the unique colors and textures. Label your cheeses to let guests know which Wisconsin Cheese they’re enjoying.
3. Less Is More. Cheese needs breathing space to develop and maintain its flavor. When cheeses are placed too close together, their individual aromas intermingle, making them difficult to differentiate. Also provide a different knife for each cheese to avoid the mixing or changing of flavors.
4. Maximize Flavor. For full flavor, serve cheese at room temperature, removing from the refrigerator about an hour before serving, depending on size. Hard cheeses require a longer time to reach room temperature than soft cheeses.
5. Add Pairings. Expertly crafted cheeses can be satisfying on their own. Some accompaniments, however, enhance their flavors and complexities, and provide a beautiful presentation. Fresh and dried fruits such as grapes, pears, apricots, and figs make ideal companions, as do savories such as olives, roasted nuts, and marinated vegetables. Jams, jellies, and chutneys also make outstanding pairings. Some of our favorite pairing recipes are Praline Bacon, Plum-Cranberry Compote and Maple Balsamic Pecans with Sea Salt.