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Are you entertaining and want to make a big impression? Or ever wondered on how to impress guests with a quick and easy plater at a picnic? There's no easier showstopper than a beautiful cheese platter. While creating a cheese platter is simple, having a few simple tips in your back pocket will ensure a gourmet cheese platter every time.
What to buy
If you’re having a big party, it’s good to have a variety of cheese like a hard cheese cheddar, creamy Brie or Camembert and flavoured cheese such as chilli or black pepper and you can build around specific ones that you tend to like.
Although variety is the key for a perfect cheese platter, ideally you don’t want more than five cheeses on the board.
How to serve it
It’s true that you eat with your eyes first. When selecting a cheese board, choose organic materials like wood, slate, or marble tile, they’re more appealing to the eye and look more alive.
The French have a tradition of serving only odd numbers of cheeses: three, five or seven. There’s another school of thought that you should arrange your cheeses in a clockwise direction from mildest to strongest. Whichever approach you take, the most important thing to do is to take your cheese out of the fridge more than five minutes before serving and put your cheese on a nice platter or wooden board.
What to serve with it
Classic accompaniments are best with unpeeled apple or pear slices and dried fruits such as figs and dates. It's best to avoid citrus fruits such as strawberries and kiwi fruits as they are acidic and tend to turn cheese acrid. You can also include a mixture of different nuts such as whole walnuts or hazelnuts, crackers such as water crackers or lavash and breads such a crusty sourdough or fruit-and-nut bread for texture. Fruit pastes including quince or fig go perfectly with hard cheeses like vintage cheddar. A bowl of honey or maple syrup goes well with a robust blue or a few leaves of rocket and semi-dried tomato with a fresh goat's cheese.
It’s ok if cheese is one of your best friends!