It has recently been brought to my attention that not every person knows details about how to create a perfect cheese platter. There is an art in perfecting the cheese, jam, and nuts ratio. I was lucky enough to grow up in a household where cheese was integrated into my diet, and I have also experienced cheeses in different countries. Recently, I watched two women from the north turn their noses at blue cheese because it "smelled weird."
With maybe a little too much enthusiasm, I told them that when it comes to cheese, the stinkier the better! My friend from Iowa did not care for this, and she immediately stopped picking at our cheese plate. This experience showed me that there are tons of people who know little or no information about cheese plates and the variety of selection. Below I will list the different components of a good cheese platter (fruits, crackers, nuts, jam, etc.) and also describe different cheeses! Hope this information helps you improve your cheese eating game and maybe you can expand your palate!
A good cheese plate typically has some sweet component, which includes fresh or dried fruit. Some common ones are grapes, pears, apples, plums, and apricots! It's nice to pair fruit with cheese because it gives it a lighter taste, especially if the cheese is heavy. Some dried fruits that are great are dates, dried apricots, and dried cherries!
Throwing some protein on the cheese platter is always a good idea. On nicer occasions, I've had walnuts or pecans that are sugar roasted! Some of my favorite nuts are almonds (especially on brie), pistachios, cashews, or walnuts.
Jams (honeys too).
At this point, cheese and a cracker feels naked without a nice jam or spread. It is perfect to sweeten up your cheese, and it also gives a nice texture to the cracker. If you're going for a sophisticated vibe, the nicer jam is typically best (sorry, Smuckers). I've also had a fresh honeycomb paired with cheese, and they compliment each other very nicely.
Crackers and bread.
Typically cheese platters will have crackers, but sometimes I like a loaf of french bread to just switch up the routine. Crispy French bread is great for cheese like brie and fresh mozzarella. Crackers are nice for most other cheeses, and I prefer the ones with seeds or nuts on top (for a little extra crunch).
Types of cheeses.
Aside from the different colors, there are a few different ways that cheeses are unique. They differentiate in texture, sharpness, taste, and smell. Sharp cheeses, such as cheddar and swiss are good with jelly;softer cheese like mozzarella and provolone are great with flavorful crackers or nuts.
No matter how you enjoy your cheese plate, I hope that this article has guided you in the right direction and taught you a little something about the perfect platter ingredients!