It is best to pick cheeses that are very distinct from each other. You want to pick 2 familiar cheeses, 2 exotic cheeses, and 1 “wild card” that will add some extra adventure and variety for your guests.
#2. Include a variety of textures
We recommend one creamy/spreadable, one mold ripened, one semi-soft, one semi-hard, and one hard cheese. Alternatively, you can choose a theme for your spread (i.e. all french cheeses, or goat cheeses, or local only). In that case, it is fine to have more than one texture variety on your tray.
For example, to create a spread from our family of artisan cheeses, you could vary the textures like this: Brick Street Tomme (semi-hard) Fleur de la Terre (semi-hard) Sheet’s Creek Cheddar (hard) Hillside Bloom (mold-ripened) Fromage (spreadable) in Spicy or Garden Herb Read more about our artisan cheeses here
#3. Let cheeses sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour before serving to let full flavor come through
…unless they are soft cheeses or it is exceptionally hot outside. The heat will make even the hard cheeses “sweat” by pushing out their butterfat. Always air out stinky cheeses ahead of time – for obvious reasons.
#4. Plan for about 1 ounce of each cheese per person
One ounce is roughly the equivalent of one large cheese cube
(not that you should cut all cheeses in cubes, though! Look up a cheese cutting diagram, like this one).
#5. Use a separate knife or tongs for each cheese
Always. Always. Always. So much of our sense of taste is based in smell, and you don’t want to fiddle with your guests’ experience of a cheese by mixing scents and flavors through serving utensils.