How to Create the Perfect Cheese Platter (2024)

Who doesn't want an excuse to sample new cheeses from a lovely cheese board? The part that takes some thought is figuring out which cheeses to pick. Obviously, you want to include the most delicious or intriguing cheeses you can find (goat cheese is always a great option) and to give your cheese platter variety. Including lactose-free cheese or the healthiest cheese may be important, too, depending on your guest list.

Whether you've never crafted a cheese platter, or you're a pro just looking for more ideas, this guide will teach you the best strategy for a perfect cheese platter. Here's how to create the most inviting cheese board possible.

Include a Variety of Textures and Flavors

Serve at least one familiar cheese like Gouda or Brie. Then choose at least one from each of the following categories:

  • Aged: Aged Cheddar, Comte, Goat cheese, and Gouda.
  • Soft: Constant Bliss, Camembert, and Brillat-Savarin.
  • Firm: Manchego, Mimolette, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  • Blue: Gorgonzola Dolce, Valdeón, and Stilton.

Another option is to select cheeses by the type of milk used (cow, goat, sheep). This will ensure a range of different flavors on the plate.

Make Sure You Have Enough

  • A good rule of thumb is 1 ounce of each cheese for every guest and about five types of cheese.
  • For a party in which cheese is the main event, plan on buying 3 pounds for eight people, 6 pounds for 16 people, or 9 pounds for 24 people. If cheese is one of many items being served, plan on buying 3 to 4 ounces per person.
  • If you know from experience that one type of cheese is always the most popular, purchase extra of that variety.

Add the Right Accompaniments

Here are three no-fail food pairings to add to your cheese board:

A Selection of Breads

Include sliced baguette, bread sticks, and crackers in different shapes and sizes. Vary taste and texture among the breads as well as the cheeses.

Jarred Condiments and Vegetables

Try sweet preserves or honey, tart chutneys, and spicy mustards. You might add artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and caponata. If you have time, prepare caramelized onions, which complement most cheese plates.

Sweet and Salty Items

Try cured meats such as prosciutto and salami, or candied nuts and pistachios. Assorted seasonal and dried fruits can include figs, cherries, apples, and pears.

Arrange and Present Your Cheese Board

Spread Out Your Spread

If you want to serve a pungent, stinky-socks type of cheese, place it on a separate plate so it doesn't overpower the more delicate ones. Four or five choices are enough. Place the cheese platters and the other nibbles on several tables to avoid guest gridlock.

Set Out a Separate Knife for Each Cheese

Soft cheese spreads well with a butter knife; firm cheese might require a paring knife; and aged cheese often requires a cheese plane.

Bring Cheese to Room Temperature and Label

Remove the cheese from the refrigerator an hour before serving. (Cold mutes flavor.) Then affix a label to each cheese. You won't need to recite the names all evening, and you can jot down a few poetic adjectives describing their flavors.

Store Cheese Properly

If you shopped in advance, preserve the cheese's quality long after it leaves the store. If there are leftovers, store the cheese properly to enjoy again later.

  • Place cheese in the refrigerator's crisper drawer. Don't store it in the door, where the temperature is less stable.
  • Wrap cheese in plastic wrap or wax paper.
  • Cheese's expiration date depends on the type. Harder cheese tends to last longer than soft cheese.
How to Create the Perfect Cheese Platter (2024)

FAQs

What is the 3-3-3 rule for charcuterie board? ›

The 3333 rule applies to the number of foods to create the perfect board. To follow the 3,3,3,3 rule, stick to three cheeses, three meats, three starches, and three accoutrements.

How do you assemble a perfect cheese board? ›

Keep Your Cheese Board Simple:

Buy some cheese and meat. Pair it with crackers, bread, nuts and some mustard, jam or honey. Finally, add a fruit that you already have on hand.

How do you elevate a cheese platter? ›

Artisan breads, rice crisps and crackers. Add some freshness for that finishing touch. Fruit, such as pear, berries, grapes and apple add sweetness and some veggie sticks add some crunch. Pop on some cheese knives and other serving cutlery required.

What is the best cheese to put on a platter? ›

Here are the best cheeses for your charcuterie board

Hard cheese: chunks of parmesan, aged gouda, asiago. Firm cheese: gruyere, comte, manchego, colby, cheddar. Semi-soft cheese: havarti, butterkäse, muenster. Soft cheese: burrata, mascarpone, stracchino.

How many cheeses should be on a cheese board? ›

A good rule of thumb is 1 ounce of each cheese for every guest and about five types of cheese. For a party in which cheese is the main event, plan on buying 3 pounds for eight people, 6 pounds for 16 people, or 9 pounds for 24 people. If cheese is one of many items being served, plan on buying 3 to 4 ounces per person.

How do you display cheese on a cheese board? ›

Instructions
  1. Take cheese out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
  2. Space out the cheeses onto a large cheese board, then fill in with fruits and jams, then breads, crackers and nuts. Garnish with fresh herbs, and enjoy!

How do you jazz up a cheese board? ›

We all know that the cheese is the star of the board but no board would be complete without the right accompaniments. Fresh fruit, Jams & honey bring sweetness to the cheese as well as a pop of colour. Nuts, olives and charcuterie bring a savoury saltiness that elevates almost any cheese they're paired with.

What are 5 things to avoid on a charcuterie board? ›

CHARCUTERIE // Stop Adding These 10 Ingredients To Your Charcuterie Boards!
  • STINKY CHEESES. The cheese section at the grocery store can be overwhelming and intimidating. ...
  • FRUITS THAT GO BROWN. ...
  • SPICY FOODS. ...
  • CRACKERS & BREAD. ...
  • Veggies. ...
  • Allergens and Sensitivities. ...
  • Dips, Sauces and Jams. ...
  • Boring and Bland Foods.
Jan 15, 2023

What are the three starches for a charcuterie board? ›

3 Starches: we like Taralli (a traditional Italian cracker almost like a small, circular breadstick), Artisan Crisps by Rustic Bakery, and baguettes from Gilles Baguettes. 3 Accompaniments: Cerignola olives, Marcona almonds, French cornichons.

What goes first on a cheese board? ›

Slice semi-hard cheese, like cheddar, and fan them across a section of the board. Cut wedges of brie into slices and soft round cheeses into wedges (it's totally fine to leave portions of cheese whole). Place small bowls of tapenade, olives, honey, or jam on the board.

What makes the perfect cheese board? ›

My favorites to include on a cheese board are Prosciutto or Parma ham, salami and slices of chorizo. Coppa, Mortadella, Sopressata and Nduja are also good options. Crackers and bread: Anything goes here but I usually like to do a few crostini, breadsticks, crackers and sliced fresh baguette.

What do you put on a cheese grazing platter? ›

A charcuterie board (sometimes called a charcuterie platter, grazing board, or grazing platter) is a selection of meats that have been sliced thinly and served with cheese, olives, fruit, nuts, and various types of bread, all arranged beautifully on a serving platter or wooden board.

How many cheeses do you need for a cheese platter? ›

We recommend choosing at least three to five cheeses of varying milk sources, colours, textures and flavours from the five following categories: fresh, soft, blue and hard.

What is the best meat for a cheese platter? ›

Cured meats: Prosciutto, genoa salami, chorizo, sopressata, ham, and cured sausages are all classic choices for a charcuterie board. Cheese: Choose a variety of textures and flavors. A few options are soft brie, burrata and camembert. For firm cheese oprions try cheddar, manchego, Parmesan and gouda.

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