Art of a Cheese Plate

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cheese plate | whatsarahknows

Laguiole Cheese Knives  //  Brooklyn Slate Cheese Board  //  Mud Australia Bowl  // Fornasetti Appetizer Bowls

I must admit that I have a major cheese obsession! I love cheese at all times of day and prepared in any manner or fashion. Melted or spread, as an hors d’oeuvres or dessert – doesn’t matter! I always make a cheese plate when I am entertaining because they are simple, elegant, easy to put together and usually everyone is a fan (seriously – who doesn’t like cheese?). The fact that I live right by Murray’s Cheese only enables this habit. Looking back through the blog, which isn’t very old, you will see a lot of cheese plate (here, here, here and here. True story, there are actually more). I try to vary my cheese selection and styling, because I want to have fun with it and to make a new discovery. Here are some tips and tricks for creating a lovely cheese platter.

cheese platter styling | whatsarahknows

Find the best cheese shop where you live. I love Murray’s Cheese in NYC which is not only stocked full of amazing cheeses and other goodies from all over the world, byt also is dangerously close to my apartment. I put my trust in the cheesemonger and ask for his recommendations. The best part is that they almost always give you samples as you try and pick your cheese.

Next, choose a variety of cheeses. A goat, sheep and a cow perhaps. Hard, soft, fresh, aged so that there is a little something there for everyone.

Make sure to take the cheese out of the fridge at least an hour before your guests arrive.

Don’t crowd the cheeses on the plate and have fun with your styling. Place the cheeses on the board from mildest to strongest – though I don’t always follow this rule (whoops!)

Buy some good crackers (I like 34 Degrees Savory Chips & Carr’s crackers) or cut up a baguette. Even more delicious and decadent is to slice a baguette, brush the slices with good olive oil and toast until nicely browned. Yum.

To elevate the taste of the cheese, you can add some fun and varied accoutrements. For example, how lovely (and tasty) are some candied walnuts or delicious olives on the side of a cheese plate? I have seen my healthier friends steer clear of the cheese but seriously dig the dried fruit. Some of my favorite items to include on a cheese plate for taste and looks are candied walnuts, marcona almonds, dried fruit, grapes, sprigs of rosemary, salamis (love sopressata) and some fun jams and spreads!

Put out a few cheese knives for the hard and soft cheese because if you use the same knife for all of them, they end up tasting the same.

Use cheese wraps or parchment paper for the leftovers as this is the best way to keep your cheese fresh (that is if you have any left over)!

amazing  jams to go with your cheese plate | whatsarahknows

My two latest and favorite delicious discoveries courtesy of Murray’s are Date Lady and Tonewood Maple Cream. I first became aware of jams to enhance a bite of cheese with Dalmatia Fig Spread and since then have only gotten more into it. Date Lady Syrup is the most delicious vegan (also gluten free, kosher and organic) thing I have ever had and apparently is good on everything from cheese, to baked goods, topped on ice cream and even with grilled fish. I have only touched the tip of the iceberg with the cheese so stay tuned. Tonewood Maple Cream – this stuff is insane, whipped maple syrup. Delicious with cheese, my friends have gone nuts over it. I can only imagine how ridiculously good it would be on some pancakes . . .

cheese plate

for the love of cheese | whatsarahknows

cheese on the roof

{Cheese on the Roof | thrown together last minute but still oh so good}

Cheese Accessories

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