Whether you are sipping wine with friends, hosting a dinner party, or simply enjoying an indulgent snack, cheese platters are a great sight on any dinner table. At a dinner party it's a great way to keep your guests happy until the main course, or to round off a meal.
Choose a variety of different cheeses with a range of flavours and textures.
For example, you can match a creamy soft white cheese with a strong blue cheese and distinctive creamy Smoked Havarti or a tangy Saint Maure goats cheese.
As a guide allow 60-100g of cheese per person. Select three-five cheeses.
Serve cheese at room temperature to get the full flavour. Put your cheese on a nice platter or wooden board, cover it with a damp tea towel and leave it for two to three hours. This enables the cheese to come to room temperature without drying out.
When choosing crackers try to avoid strong flavours, such as garlic, chilli and zesty lemon, as these will compete with the cheese.
#4 Keep it simple
Keep it simple with the pairings: one bread or cracker, one in-season fruit, one jam or compote, and one or two savoury options - like pickles, salami, or mustard - ought to do it. Visit your New World deli section for some recommendations.
Dried apricots, whole almonds and plain roasted cashew nuts also make tasty additions to a cheeseboard.
#5 Cut the cheese
To keep your platter looking good, cut the cheese in advance on a separate board (but not so far ahead that it dries out) and arrange it on your serving tray. Go for wedges and strips that can be eaten in one or two bites—but don’t go too thin, otherwise the cheese can ‘sweat’ and dry out.