A perfect cheese platter is composed of opposites. Pair hard textures with soft. Sweet taste with salty. Red with blue. And so on.
- First, choose your cheese right. Pick between 3 and 5 varieties—don’t overdo it.
- Keep about 100 gm per cheese for each guest.
- Place soft cheeses, such as brie, on the front of the platter.
- Hard cheeses such as Gouda and Cheddar are perfect.
- Serve all soft ripened cheeses in wedges. These can be easily spread on crackers.
- Feta and blue cheese are strong cheeses. Let these form the back of the platter.
- Smoked cheeses can be an interesting addition to your platter.
- Fruits go really well with cheese. Grapes, prunes, strawberries and melon cubes are good choices.
- Dried fruit, such as walnuts and almonds, toasted or raw, taste good and offer a contrast to the juiciness of soft fruit.
- Hard cheeses: emmenthal, cheddar
- Orange marmalade and olive tapenade make lovely dips for your cheese platter.
- Take the cheese out of the fridge about 1 hour before serving. This allows its full flavours to be drawn out.
- The semi-hard or hard cheese should not be sliced too thick.
- Use a sharp knife! And don’t forget to keep tongs and forks handy.
- For soft cheese, use bigger chunks.
- Don’t slice up the entire block of cheese. Keep a big hunk of it near the slices, with a knife to help guests slice their own. This helps the cheese retain its moisture, too.
- Pair your cheese platter with full-flavoured wines such as Zinfandel and Merlot.
(Chef de Cuisine Bishan Singh Negi of Courtyard by Marriott, Gurgaon, was our resource for this story).