As published in Azalea Magazine Winter 2017.
Just the word makes us smile.
Cheese. It is the perfect ingredient for entertaining. It can start
or end a meal as a flavorful appetizer or classic dessert. Best of
all, these people-pleasing platters can be easily put together. That’s
part of their attraction. Here are a few tips to building a cheese
Choosing The Cheese.
• Plan on serving three to five cheeses. Anything additional is
overwhelming to the palate. For each type of cheese, buy one ounce per
• Look for variety in taste, texture and appearance. Aim for serving
a hard cheese such as Manchego, a soft cheese like a Camembert, a blue
like Gorgonzola, and a pungent (stinky) cheese like Morbier.
• Serve with mild flavored crackers or bread that will not detract
from the flavor of the cheeses.
• Snip a bunch of grapes into small clusters for easy-to-grab
portions. Sliced apples, pears and figs also pair nicely.
• In separate dishes, you might offer olives, pickled vegetables and
lightly roasted nuts.
• To round out the food- a dried sausage makes a hearty snack.
• Serve on a tray or platter large enough to keep cheeses from touching.
• Remove the wrapping from the cheeses, but leave on the rinds.
• Bring cheeses to room temperature for optimal flavor.
• Serve each cheese with its own knife to avoid mixing flavors.
• Identify the cheeses. Note each variety.
While creating a cheese platter is simple, following these tips will
ensure a winning cheese course every time.