Cheese plate: Making the perfect cheese plate is easier than you think


Whether it is an appetizer or a meal, making the perfect cheese plate is easier than you think. Offering balance and style on the cheese board are key to a successful cheese plate.

From a favorite restaurant’s appetizer menu to a quick, late night dinner at home, a cheese plate can be a delicious combination of flavors and textures. Just like the vast types and flavors of cheese, no two cheese plates are the same. Still, a few tips can transform an ordinary cheese plate into a perfect cheese plate.

Knowing how to create a delicious cheese plate is a helpful skill for party hosts and foodies. But, is there an exact formula to create the perfect cheese plate? According to Charles Duque, Director, The French Dairy Board for the Americas, “there’s no such thing as the perfect cheese plate. It’s a matter of personal taste and occasion.”

Cheese plate, tips to create the perfect cheese plate, photo provided by the Baddish Group

Even though there are no specific rules, a few tips can help.

1. Balance

Focus on the numbers. Odd numbers work well. Three, five or even seven cheeses are more visually appealing than a selection of even number of cheeses.

2. Follow the clock

Place cheeses on the plate in a particular order, for example delicate cheeses to more pungent cheeses. Start with the delicate cheese and move to more pungent, aka stinky cheeses. If you start in the reverse order, you won’t be able to taste all the subtle flavors in the lighter cheeses.

Cheese plate, tips to create the perfect cheese plate, photo provided by the Baddish Group

3. Vary the style

Cheeses come in many styles. The major styles are Washedrind, soft cheese, hard cheese and a pungent blue cheese. Create a balance on the cheese plate by having a couple different styles of cheese.

4. To cracker or not to cracker?

Some people prefer to enjoy cheese on a cracker. But, not any old cracker will do. A simple, clean cracker is best to enjoy all the cheese’s flavor. Some people may not enjoy the “plain, fancy” crackers, but these crackers allow the cheese’s flavor to shine. If you don’t want a cracker, a thinly sliced baguette works well, too. Overall, the key to this tip is to let the cheese be the star no matter how the cheese is served.

5. Cut it well

A good cheese knife is imperative for a perfect cheese plate. A delicate soft cheese doesn’t need the same type of knife as a hard cheese. Several companies have make amazing cheese knives. From the French Laguiole Jean Neron Cheese knives to Boska’s Holland cheese knives, investing in a good set of cheese knives is a smart choice. Don’t ruin that delicious cheese by cutting it improperly.

6. Add a sweet touch

A sweet note to balance all the cheese flavors can be a lovely touch. From a robust fig jam to some dried fruit, these extra touches can round out the cheese plate. Even a little serving of honey can be delightful with the various cheeses.

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While these cheese plate tips are helpful for creating a perfect cheese plate, trial and error is usually key to overall success. From trying new cheeses to pushing your boundaries, experimentation is beneficially to finding what flavors and textures work best with your palate.

In the end, don’t fret about perfection. Food is meant to be enjoyed. As long as you find the cheese tasty, that is all that matters.