Thursday, August 8, 2013

The anatomy of a cheese platter.

Real talk - I love a good cheese platter. If I could eat one type of food for every meal it would be from a well constructed and flavor diversified cheese platter. 

A hunk of crusty bread paired with fresh mozzarella, a handful of salty pecans and almonds paired with a sharp hard cheese, or the snap of a ripe grape mixed with the smooth tart flavor of brie. Oh man. Dont even get me started on Fig Jam. A cheese platter must. 

So I know I posted this picture before, but let's get real...I only make cheese platters every once in a blue moon so I don't have much an archive now do I??

Here are my cheese platter essentials:

{one} party favorite: something recognizable, like cheddar or pepper jack that will satisfy even the most immature (I kid!!) of palates.
{one} Hard cheese: this time I went for an aged Gouda, but no expense spared I would certainly of picked me and the Mr.'s favorite cheese good. so darn expensive.
{Two} soft or fresh cheese (non goat): Usually I do a brie and a blue here. One oh so subtle and the other oh so tangy! 
{One} goat cheese: Confession. I hate goat cheese. I tried. I tried for so long to like seemed so cultured and hip to me, but I just can't do it. But I always include one because it is a crowd pleaser! I usually go for an herbed goat.
{One} Wildcard: budget and room permitting of course. How about that real stinky hunk you saw at Whole Foods or that aged cheese from Luxembourg that no one has ever heard of? It will be the talk of the food table!
Something sweet and something salty. Grapes and nuts (as seen above), apricots, dates, apples, and green olives. I love fig and cheese which is why I always include Trader Joe's Fig Butter on all my cheese plates. It spread so nicely on crackers and bread and is the perfect compliment to almost any cheese on the board.
Salami. Because cheese and salami belong together. End of Story.

Serve with any crackers or bread. And I mean Any. Cracker. I could spread fig butter and brie cheese on a piece of cardboard and probably not tell the difference. It is simply the vehicle which gets the cheesy, salty, sweetness to my mouth. But seriously.

Serve cheese at room temperature and make sure to provide multiple cheese knives!
Labels are also a fun way to let each guest know what's what or the ever so trendy chalkboard labeling.

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