Whether for a party, a sit-down meal or an evening snack, there’s nothing better than a cheese platter at the center of it all. Take a refreshing twist on this classic platter with original ingredients and a unique presentation that will surely surprise your guests and leave them wanting more. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Why not celebrate the season in style with an Italian-inspired cheese platter? For example, you could serve olives, a few arugula leaves, roasted peppers, marinated mushrooms, fresh tomatoes drizzled in quality olive oil, Parma ham, aged salami, plump grapes, sliced cantaloupe, crusty baguette, and some crostini. These Italian flavours will perfectly complement, and even enhance, the delicate, hazelnutty flavour of Friulano cheese from Italy’s Friuli region, the buttery almond-tinged taste of Smoked Caciocavallo. Next to the tomatoes, place a ball of Mozzarella Fresca drizzled with balsamic vinegar, and don’t leave out the celebrated Parmigiano Reggiano, aged for 24 months to lend it a satisfying crunch.
Don’t forget to have fun! There are no rules. Play with colours, shapes and textures and mix and match sweet, salty, sour and bitter flavours.
Planning on serving a cheeseboard at a party as an appetizer? Set out 75 g of cheese per guest, focus on fresh ingredients, and opt for light crackers and fruit over bread. If your cheese plate will be a main dish, prepare 200 to 250 g of cheese per person and serve twice as many accompaniments. Want to shake things up a little by serving your cheeseboard for dessert? Plan for 50 to 75 g of cheese per person and add sliced peaches, apricots or figs, chocolate, spiced bread or other sweet quick breads, and nuts.
Then, for a presentation that’s anything but ordinary, add levels by placing the nuts or fruit in martini glasses in the centre of the round cheese platter, or serve all the ingredients, choose a round cheeseboard, or serve all the ingredients directly on the table, with parchment paper for protection.
Take your spirit straight to Italy by serving your cheese with spritz which pairs marvelously with white cheeses. If you prefer wine, we suggest a chilled white Orvieto or Tuscan Montepulciano or Chianti red wine. And don’t forget beer! Fruit beers and dark lager make for a delicious pairing with cheese.
A cheeseboard is great in any season, beside the fire or out on the deck. Plus, it requires so little prep that you can even serve it outdoors, at a park or campsite.
Be creative! After all, the cheeseboard is an art that anyone can master.