An important aspect of being a good host is to have the right kind of snacking options at home. The solution: a cheese platter or a charcuterie board that’s decorous of the occasion yet provides ample opportunities to nibble.
A cheese platter or a charcuterie board is often the centrepiece of any party. It’s the perfect place to graze as you go around catching up with friends and associates. As impressive and complex as cheese platters look, they actually are rather easy to put together and serve.
The perfect cheese platter consists of different types of cheeses, dips, bread or dry nibbles, and fruit. Meanwhile, charcuterie boards have the addition of cured meats and are put together with casual elegance and elan. Here’s a helpful guide to curating your own cheese platter that’s tasty and tailor-made for any occasion.
How many types of cheese are kept on a cheese platter?
Variety isn’t just the spice of life but an essential step in curating the perfect cheese platter. The basic concept of putting together one is to ensure that there are ample options for your guests to sample. To ensure variety in your cheese platter pick different types, textures, and tastes.
A basic cheese platter should have one hard (like Parmesan), one soft (like Brie), and one semi-soft (like Bleu) type of cheese. Build on this by choosing between aged, preserved, or new cheese, this variety in strength allows your consumer to choose between stinky, sticky, or simply standard cheese. You can add intrigue by picking cheese from different sources like cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, goat’s milk cheese, and so on. Variety also makes your cheese look more visually appealing and appetising.
How long does a cheese platter last?
Culinary enthusiasts will vouch for fresh ingredients and a cheese board is no different. Even as you regularly refrigerate your cheese, it’s important to maintain the freshness of a cheese platter. Ideally, one should use the cheese platter as soon as it’s delivered or soon after it’s assembled. However, in case the whole board isn’t consumed at your party you can separate the ingredients and refrigerate them as per their individual expiry periods.
Which drink goes well with a cheese platter?
Making a cheese platter might require minimal culinary skills but to be a host with an edge one must know how the drinks pair with your picked cheese. A challenging feat for sure, especially when you assumed that a wine and cheese night was the order. And while it’s a fail-safe option, the variety of cheese calls for drinks handpicked for their taste and texture. Here are some winning combinations:
As stated, white wines work beautifully as it cuts through the richness of the cheese. Our recommendation: A sweet German Riesling or French Chardonnay.
You’ll be surprised to learn that light beer can in fact bring out the flavour of the cheese. Strong beers on the other hand are too overwhelming and should only be paired with aged cheeses. Our recommendation: a hoppy lager or pale ale.
Although a popular pairing, sweet cocktails can often take away the attention that the flavours of a well-curated platter deserve. A straightforward G&T is more attuned to the situation.
What tastes good with the cheese?
You’ve got the cheese selection pat down but how do you enhance the beauty of your charcuterie board? The answer lies in picking the right condiments to go alongside the cheese as they not only enhance the aesthetic of your board but also ensure your guests are well fed.
Here are some accompaniments to add to your next platter that are sure to create a Pinterest-worthy charcuterie board. Pick from a selection of bread, crackers, fig and other sweet jams, local honey, fresh fruits (like grapes) and vegetable sticks (carrot, cucumber, radish), olives and pickles, nuts (like pistachio, macadamia) and dips. You can also add a selection of cured meats like prosciutto, soppressata, chorizo, and pancetta.
What is the quantity of cheese to serve at a party?
We all hate food wastage and therefore it’s essential to have a rough estimate of much cheese and condiments each guest can consume. Here’s a quick glance at the numbers for you to plan your next spread:
Cheese: 2-3 ounces per person, charcuterie (meat): 4-6 slices per person
Fruit: ⅛ – ¼ cup per person
Nuts: 2 – 3 tablespoons per person
Olives/Pickles: 3-4 olives/pickles (about ⅛ cup) per person
Honey/Jam: 1 tablespoon per person
Crackers/bread: 7-10 slices per person
How to choose the best display for a cheese platter?
And now to the final part of our lactose-laden journey, which is how to display your cheese board in order to get the best vantage and Pinterest-worthy images. Cheese platters are typically assembled on wooden trays or slate, shapes can vary between round, square and rectangular. However, in its absence, one can also use a glass dinner plate, wooden chopping board, or any fancy flatware. It’s always a good idea to have cheese knives and toothpicks handy to ensure people are able to pick at the condiments without messing up your beautiful cheese platter.
Hero and Feature image courtesy: Shutterstock.
This story first appeared in Prestige Online – Malaysia
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: The cheese kept on a cheese platter can be divided into major categories namely- hard cheese, firm cheese, semi-soft cheese, and soft cheese
Answer: You can generally expect it to last nearly up to 14 days.
Answer: Generally, crisp white wine or a very light red wine might be the best drink to give you company alongside a cheese platter.
Answer: A cheese board is referred to as a charcuterie board.
Answer: You can pick from a selection of bread, crackers, fig and other sweet jams, local honey, fresh fruits (like grapes) and vegetable sticks (carrot, cucumber, radish), olives and pickles, nuts (like pistachio, macadamia) and dips. You can also add a selection of cured meats like prosciutto, soppressata, chorizo, and pancetta.
Answer: People with high cholesterol or a cardiovascular disease might want to limit their cheese intake.
Answer: Make sure to serve it at room temperature before dinner with the right and suitable accompaniments
Answer: Camembert is known to be the softest cheese.
Answer: Mozerella, blue cheese, feta, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, swiss, and cheddar cheese are some of the healthiest options.