A beautiful cheese board is a convivial way to share a meal with family and friends. There is no such thing as a typical cheese platter. However, it is important to cater to different tastes and to arrange the different cheeses in an attractive way according to the season, the theme and the type of meal. As a tapas, an aperitif, at lunch or at the end of a meal, cheese can be enjoyed on any occasion and at any time.
Choosing the Cheese Platter
Before you even choose the types of cheese you will serve, ensure you get the right cheese board. Creativity is allowed here. You can either go for a beautiful marble platter for the chic look, a wooden or wicker platter for authenticity or any unique platter you get your hands on. Creativity is allowed here, but above all, avoid stainless steel.
A classic platter is both a delight for your palate and your eyes. Choose an even number of cheeses : 3, 5 or 7 from different families and regions are perfect for seeing all the textures. Both original and beautiful, a tray composed of unique cheese will surprise your guests.
Choosing The Cheeses
Choose one cheese from each of these cheese categories:
- Tomme de Savoie
- Red Leicester
- Fourme d’Ambert
- Bleu d’Auvergne
Soft Cheese with Bloomy Rind:
Soft Cheese with Washed Rind:
- Mont d’Or
- Petit basque
- Folie bergère
I’m going to show you an example of a simple cheese board for a small dinner party of 4 people. You can start with three cheeses. As the number of guests increases, you increase the number by two cheeses making the number even.
1. Truffled Tomme
This truffled tomme is considered a soft cheese but is unique and seasonal with the added black truffle. This will be the surprise element in your composition and should be tasted the last.
2. Briquette du Nord
It’s advisable to always add a block of goat cheese to your cheese platter. Goat cheese, especially a young, bright, flavoured and slightly tangy one, is generally easier to digest and pleasing. Even cheese sceptics and children are likely to love it.
Comté is the most common and versatile hard cheese with any wine. Although it’s not the easiest to digest, children generally love it in their sandwiches or as a snack. If your guests like to have a glass of wine (red or white) as an aperitif while chatting with you while you prepare a dinner party, cut up some Comté cheese into cubes and serve with it. Your guests would be delighted.
To go with:
You can serve the cheese board with some bread on the side, usually speciality bread, such as baguette, multi-grain or country loaf. Sometimes, it is even necessary to serve bread with your cheese platter for practical reasons – it’s easier and more elegant to place blots of soft cheese on a piece of bread before eating it, rather than licking the cheese off the fork or, worse, knife.
It’s also common and flavourful to eat the cheese with some lightly sauced (French vinaigrette) crunchy salad. Serve some salad on the side.
Grapes and dried fruits can also be added to give more flavour and colour to the cheese board.