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.
#6. Don’t forget about the drinks!
Despite common belief, beer tends to pair better with cheese than wine. Surprise! Craft beer has more subtle fermented flavors that won’t compete with the cheeses or overwhelm more gentle varieties.
#7. Remember that a cheese party tray is all about the fun pairings. Include a variety of accompaniments to spice up the experience!
We recommend additions like these:
Crackers or Bread
Fruit preserves & Jams (stay natural and avoid super sugary commercial products that will tamper with flavor) Pepper Jelly (for a little kick!) Olives Nuts Pickles and Pickled Foods
(think outside the proverbial pickle barrel and include unexpected choices, like pickled green beans and carrots) Charcuterie Mustards Micro Greens & Fresh Veggies Sweets (Don’t forget! Like Dark Chocolate, Strawberries, Candied Orange Slices)
Place these on the board with the cheeses so guests can pick and pair conveniently. Stay loose and artistic in your placement, and don’t worry too much about the perfect composition.
Take your tray to another level with this pro tip from our Sales Manager, a major cheese lover: “What I love most about cheese is how much it reflects our history as a human race. The board should reflect this. For example: if you do a Spanish cheese board, make sure to include Marcona almonds and Spanish La Quercia Charcuterie.”
Lauren Bobbitt2018-03-07T09:40:49-05:00May 24th, 2017|Comments Off on The 7-Step Way to a Perfect Cheese Tray