How to Create the Perfect Cheese Plate

Thursday, December 8



When we lived in Salt Lake we would often get together with another couple (who conveniently were our neighbors too) late in the evening for cheese tastings.  Typically we took turns choosing the cheeses for the night, which always kept things interesting and ecclectic.  We discovered, over the course of several evenings, what we loved and what we could pass on next time.  Aaah, what fun it was...

Last night, when finally sitting down to peruse a French magazine I brought back a couple of months ago, I spotted these gorgeous, handcrafted bread boards / cutting boards and was reminded of how much I love our one, nice, wooden cheese board.  It was a bit of an investment for us, but every time we use it, we are so grateful to have it; and we likely will never have to replace it in our lifetime.  Anyway, did you know that cheese plates make the easiest-to-assemble holiday appetizer ever?  I know many of you are looking for something sophisticated to bring to your next holiday fête, so why not create a beautiful cheese plate? 

Here's what you need to do:

1. procure wooden board - try popping into your local Anthropologie (or perhaps call first) to pick up one of these gorgeous Trudeau baguette boards (they are sold out online :(). A long, skinny cheese plate would be so fun.  Or, try Jayson Home for vintage French cutting boards.  You can use a wooden cutting board as a cheese board...I often do!  And last, try a few places on Etsy...this one looks nice. 

2. choose your cheese - it can be very overwhelming to stare at 50 different artisan cheeses and figure out those that are outstanding and worth the price tag!  I wrote a post last year for Zupas highlighting my favorite artisan cheeses, so take a peek if you'd like some inspiration for assembling your own cheese plate

If you'd like to share your favorite cheese (and I hope you do!), please leave a comment on this post (vs. the Zupas post).  Merci! I am always on the lookout for a new, delicious cheese to add to our list of favorites.

update: Some of Aran's "students" at the workshop in France created some beautiful cheese plates with simple ingredients--you can view them over at Jennifer's blog. I feel hunger pains coming on!



image 1 - Marie Claire Idées  /  image 2 - Anthropologie  /  image 3 - Jayson Home  / image 4 - Jennifer Chase Photography  image 5 - Lucas Allen for Domino

15 comments:

lyndsey @ the stationery place said...

i LOVE this post! where were you a month ago?! haha. i put together my very first cheese plate last month for a little party and i was way overwhelmed. thanks to trader joe's i came up with a very feeble attempt (you can read about it here: http://the-stationery-place.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-to-throw-holiday-paper-party-food.html) but i feel better equipped to try one again someday. probably not as good as yours, but oh well :)

Mills M. (héron + hibou) said...

I like Beaufort for a hard cheese, like comté but better! And for even more regional pride, I would add Reblochon and Tomme de Savoie to the list, too. :)

J'ai deux amours (Lisa Morales) said...

Yikes! Next time I see a "used" cutting board at the brocante for 5 euros I'm grabbing it! I always try to have a hard, a soft and a blue, like bleu d'Auverne. Having lived in the Savoie I can appreciate the Tomme, but don't love Reblochon.

Starr said...

You are in the right place to order Cougar Gold from the WSU Creamery. If you get some or try it at someone's house, let me know what you think.

I also happen to love the Dutch Goat Gouda from Trader Joe's.

Justyna said...

I've actually ordered cheese online... the best Spanish cheese is CABRALES... heavenly sharp blue.

The best cheese in the world however, was a spontaneous splurge while at a NY State grocery store (Wegmans). It was 14 bucks and worth every penny... we ate it for dinner with a spoon with a baguette and wine! It was called L'Edel de Cleron: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jinkymarvels/4427432812/in/photostream/

Good luck on your cheese journey, and please keep sharing your faves!
Justyna

Stephanie said...

Great recs ladies! Thank you for both the local and online sources. Who would've known?

Liz said...

mmm. love a good cheese platter, steph!
have you had "haloumi"? it's expensive, but you grill it and it's so good. yum.

Michelle said...

Yeah! Such good timing m'lady. I have a party this weekend, and I was just thinking...how do I make the perfect cheese plate? YIPPEE

Cecilia said...

I love a good manchego. Oh, I love so many cheeses. Great post.

o charm said...

oh man, where to begin with cheeses. i could live on cheese alone, i'm pretty sure. i love amadeus, lou palou, old dutch master, saint andre. . . and a good swiss gruyere is an old standby.
my friend just showed me a cheese app on his phone, that i think was called "fromage"-- which was a very cool cheese guide (that i will download the second i get that new phone).

Stephanie said...

o charm, you'll have to let me know what you think of that cheese app...I just peeked at it and I have to admit my curiosity is piqued.

Michelle, I'm thrilled at the timing...how did your party go?

Cecilia, it's been awhile since I've eaten manchego. Must do that soon. I need to pay more attention to Spanish cheese.

Miranda said...

Ooh, my favorite (especially this time of year) is stilton with apricot. I recently tried Norwegian Gjetost for the first time and loved it. The color/texture is super different, and the taste slightly sweet and sour. It'd be a fun one to add to a tasting with friends.

Gail said...

I love most cheeses and frequently take a cheese plate to our potluck dinners. I try for a variety of color and texture. But my very favorite is Royal Stilton Blue available through igormet.com. They have a wide range of cheeses from a wide range of countries. Give them a try.

Stephanie said...

Miranda, your timing is uncanny...I just tried that cheese for hte first time at my friend's home this past weekend. She said it was a family favorite!

Gail, Royal Stilton Blue...yum.

Jerin said...

Lookin' good Steph! It's good to see a picture of you on here. :) Amazing as always.

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