I am so, so excited about today’s post! Don’t forget to read all the way to the bottom, where I’m hosting a giveaway of one state-shaped Epicurean cutting board along with a $25 The Fresh Market gift card!
I am a strong believer that no gathering is complete without a cheese plate. It’s the perfect thing for people to snack on without making a mess – plus, there’s very little prep involved.
My main tip for building a cheese plate is this: select cheeses and accoutrement you like, then layer in a few classics or cheeses you’ve been wanting to try! For a little more guidance, I’ve included some additional things I like to consider below.
How to Build the Perfect Cheese Plate
- VARIETY: Choose cheeses with different flavors and textures for an interesting and well-rounded assortment. I like to include something aged, something hard, something soft and something stinky, but those aren’t the only options. Just make sure you’re not making a plate of three types of the same cheese – boring! There are dedicated cheese specialists at The Fresh Market who can answer questions and help you with special cuts/amounts.
- TEMPERATURE: This is important! Serve your cheeses at room temperature. Cold, fresh-outta-the-fridge cheese doesn’t live up to its full taste or smell potential. Let your cheeses sit on the counter for at least 20-30 minutes before serving.
- ACCOMPANIMENTS: Of course, bread and crackers are key for serving cheeses. I like to get a variety of each to complement the different cheeses I’ve selected. The Fresh Market has great selections, including a pre-made cracker variety pack! I also like to include nuts, olives and fruit on my cheese plates. If you select fruit, make sure it’s ripe and in season. If not, select a dried fruit like figs or cranberries. You can also liven up nuts by tossing them in a bit of olive oil warmed with fresh herbs. Finally, I always select at least one cured meat – prosciutto is my favorite, but The Fresh Market has a wide selection of dry-cured salamis and other charcuterie to choose from.
- SERVING: My absolute favorite way to serve cheese plates is on cutting boards. They’re easy to clean, look great and can withstand the wear. I’ll tell you a little more about Epicurean (my favorite!) cutting boards later in this post, but their new state-shaped cutting boards are the perfect way to show off a great cheese plate! Use small ramekins and bowls to serve your accompaniments, and a basket or other plate to serve your crackers. If you’re trying new or exotic cheeses, label them so your guests know what they’re getting into.
As I mentioned, Epicurean cutting boards are some of my all-time favorites. They’re high-quality, durable and come in a ton of shapes and sizes. Another thing I love is that their cutting boards are made in the USA and are manufactured using eco-friendly materials. Each of their material blends is a different color, but they’re all dishwasher safe and built to last.
I own a few of their traditionally shaped cutting boards – after registering and receiving one as a wedding gift, they quickly became a staple in our kitchen. In addition to the classics, their new state-shaped cutting boards are SO fun – they are not only great to serve your cheese on and use for cutting, but they make excellent hostess, wedding and holiday gifts. At $24.99, they’re also a fantastic price!
I know I said yesterday that I’d be sharing the Everything Crusted Cheddar Cheese Ball recipe in today’s post, but I think I’ll share it with you tomorrow instead. You’ll forgive me, right?!
Now, without further ado, the giveaway! Big thanks to Epicurean, who provided the cutting board in these pictures and the cutting board I’m giving away! Thanks also to The Fresh Market, who sent me a gift card to purchase some of the cheese used in this post and who also provided the $25 gift card I’m giving away! Both of these companies are regular parts of my life, and I’m so excited to share this awesome giveaway with you all!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I was provided a cutting board to keep and one to give away from Epicurean along with a gift card to use a gift card to give away from The Fresh Market, but was not otherwise compensated. The opinions in this post are my own.