There is something special about sitting around the table with family and friends, conversing over fine wine (or delicious beer) and savoring a fantastic cheese plate. Here are some tips that will help you put together a memorable spread for any occasion, customized to your personal taste.
Cheese needs to breathe. Fresh cheeses should be eaten within a few days after purchase, while aged cheeses may store well when properly cared for. Most cheeses will store best loosely wrapped in wax paper. Some delicate cheeses will store best in a plastic container with some air holes poked in the lid. We say, why store your cheese when you could eat it all?!
Always serve cheese at room temperature. Nothing can taint a great cheese like eating it cold. Try tasting a cheese when cold, then again when it is up to room temperature – you will see what a difference it makes. Before serving, unwrap your cheeses and let them sit out on a clean cutting board or cheese board for at least 30-45 minutes. We suggest distracting yourself with a glass of your favorite wine while you anxiously wait to dig in.
Building Your Cheese Plate
1. Pick out several different styles of cheeses using the chart below, or ask one of Mollie Stone’s Cheese Specialists for a recommendation.
Example: Fromage D’Affinois, Humboldt Fog, St. Agur Blue, Aged Manchego
2. Select some preserves and/or honey to pair with your cheeses.
Example: Fruit preserves with Fromage D’Affinois, Adriatic Fig Spread with Humboldt Fog, Truffle-infused honey with St. Agur Blue, Membrillo (quince paste) with Manchego
3. Add a few items to go on the cheese plate to eat in between cheeses or as a palate cleanser.
Example: Marcona almonds, Castelventrano olives, fresh grapes or berries, sliced apples or pears
4. Complete the plate with your favorite crackers and/or bread.
Example: Rustic Bakery Flatbreads, Raincoast Crisps, sliced Baguette