Whether you having friends over for Sunday night dinner, throwing a grownup cocktail party, or just craving a salty spread, the cheese plate is a staple crowd pleaser.
The cheese section at the market can be a bit intimidating (goat? rindless? artisan? raw milk? pasturized? cow? lactic? sheep? moisture content? what?) and expensive (a chunky little orange wedge equivalent to next week's lunch money?), but if you have a game plan and keep in mind a few tips, it is easy to execute well. And Trader Joe's is THE place to find good quality cheese on a budget!!
Also, a few of you have been asking, pictured is the Brooklyn Slate Cheese Board in Grey from Williams-Sonoma :)
- Narrow your selection to 3-5 varieties. No need to overwhelm your guests and their taste buds! Soft, Firm, Blue and either a Fan Favorite or Aged should cover it.
- One knife for each cheese should do to avoid cross-contamination (I'm looking at you, Blue!). :)
- No tooth picks necessary- they remind me of awkward middle school social gatherings and it's perfectly acceptable to use one's hands.
- A simple arrangement on a clean cutting board brings all the attention to where it should be: the cheeeeese.
- Avoid slicing the cheese too thin!
- Steer clear from pre-sliced cheeses and hard cooking cheeses.
- Don't forget- cheese is meant to be consumed at room temperature, so plan accordingly!
- A mix of crackers adds to the variance of textures and flavors.
- Supplement with accompaniments that compliment your cheeses like dried apricots, almonds, and prosciutto.