There’s nothing better (or easier!) than having a beautiful cheese plate in tow as an appetizing centrepiece at any holiday soirée. But with so many varieties available on the market, it can seem daunting to narrow the selection down to a few. From unripened to washed rind and everything in between, you don’t have to be a cheese connoisseur to put together a winning cheese plate. And it couldn’t be easier to make it both stunning and delicious. Here’s a few simple rules to make sure you nail it this holiday season.
1. Pick a variety of textures
Texture plays a big role in having a well balanced cheese plate. Whether it’s fresh, soft, semi-soft, firm or hard, make sure to select a wide range for your guests to try. That goes for what you serve it with too. Soft cheeses, like Farmhouse Camembert, pair perfectly with something crisp like a thin, crunchy cracker whereas hard cheeses, like three-year old Gouda, pair better with something soft like a fresh slice of bread.
→Check out our post on the top 5 Canadian Cheese you need now!
2. Keep every kind of eater in mind
While you might be game to dive into a wheel of wax-coated Dragon’s Breath Blue Cheese, a lot of others may not be. So choose a few cheeses that are more common to go along with the more adventurous ones so there’s something for everyone. Besides, who doesn’t love a crumbly slice of Aged Cheddar or a creamy Bocconcini anyway? Tip for the novice: my go-to’s are Brie, Applewood Smoked Cheddar, Manchego and a conversational piece like Gloucester.
3. Have both savoury and sweet additions
You want to have flavours that compliment the types of cheese you have on your plate. Honey, figs, olives and toasted nuts always look gorgeous and taste incredible with almost every cheese.
4. It’s all in the presentation
Added greenery will give your plate for a much needed a pop of colour. Sprigs of rosemary or thyme are a foolproof way to do the trick since they’re easy to find, look amazing and will stay fresh throughout the night. Adding small labels will make your plate look organized and easier to navigate and if possible, individual knives for each cheese will keep the plate tidy as it’s being enjoyed.
5. Temperature is key
Cheese is served best at room temperature, which really is a blessing in disguise (who wants to worry about something chilling in the fridge anyway?). So make sure to take your plate out at least an hour before serving to give it time to come up to temperature.
→ Check out all of our holiday recipes, articles and gift guides in our HOLIDAY 101 section!