With the holiday and entertaining season drawing upon us, our idea of a perfect evening is spent sharing a tasty cheese platter and a bottle of rose in the sunshine. Cheese platters are a great conversation piece for your guests. Most will dig in with excitement, sharing opinions about which cheeses they like, and those they don’t. A perfect cheese board is about sharing a variety of different styles, textures and flavours, paired with sweet and savoury accompaniments – getting just the right balance of everything.
Here’s a simple guide to share some of our total favourites to help you throw together a beautiful, pungent and rich cheese platter that you simply can’t resist!
1. Presentation is key
Choose a tasting board that is large enough to fit your ingredients. Think wooden boards, marble trays or a simple plate. The bigger the better! Our go-to option is the French Country Collections ploughman board, the wood makes for easy cutting and handles for easy lifting and first impressions!
2. Start with something FRESH – Cilantro Chevre
When it comes to choosing cheeses, start with something fresh. Characteristically light, milky and tangy, these cheeses are moist and highly perishable so should be eaten within days (challenge accepted!) Try the award winning Cilantro chervre – fresh goat’s milk curd, slightly citrus and excellent with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar
3. Add something CREAMY – Grinning Gecko Camembert
Spreadable or scoopable, with a white bloomy rind. A classic camembert or brie is always a crowd pleaser! Our favourite? The Grinning Gecko camembert for its distinct earthy aroma and smooth, creamy mouth feel.
4. Try something DIFFERENT- Over the Moon Galactic Gold
Impress guests with something cheese that will add contrast. We recommend tasting Over the Moon’s galactic gold cheese. As it matures, the cheese develops a more complex yeasty brassica taste. It’s rich, aromatic and peppery flavour has a soft and supple body that will soon be the talk of any cheese chat.
5. Add something AGED – Old Mill Extra Matured Dutch Gouda
Aged for over 18 months, Old Mill Extra Matured Dutch Gouda full flavoured cheese has a firm texture with a distinct butterscotch sweetness, accompanied by crunchy, white crystals throughout the body of the cheese.
6. Something BLUE to finish off -Whitestone Vintage Blue
Best known for its intensely strong, pungent aroma, we think every cheese board should include a blue. From moist and creamy to dry and firm, this earthy cheese is always a hit. Try one of our many favourites, the award winning Whitestone Vintage Blue.
6. To accompany the main event
Often the choice of crackers or specialty bread to go with your cheese board can be as big a decision as the actual cheese itself. As can the selection of chutneys, fresh or dried fruit or confits. The main thing to remember is not to overload the cheeseboard with additions – one chutney, some biscuits and some bread that complement the cheese is enough. Try out a few to find out which ones you like. Our recommendations would be any of the following -Wild Wheat sourdough, Line’s Knækbrød, Bonnie Good Oatcakes, Table Top Muscatels, fresh red grapes, Zoe Bone Feijoa fruit paste and slices of Granny Smith apple are our go-to options.
Now to match the wine!