Monday, August 15, 2011

How to: cheese tasting platter

There's something quintessentially European about a cheese tasting platter. Throw in a couple of bottles of wine, al fresco dining and good company and I'm a happy camper. It's a relatively fuss-free option for hosts who can't or don't like to cook. The possibilities for the platter are endless and can be adapted to suit personal tastes. Need inspiration? Here are a couple of rules of thumb I follow.

1) Use a variety of cheeses, including soft, semi-soft and firm ones with flavours ranging from mild to sharp. I picked a veiny blue cheese, an aged Gouda, a semi-soft sheep's milk cheese, a goat cheese, and a creamy Brie-style cheese. Don't be shy to ask your local deli for guidance (they may even give you a taste!). Set the cheese out 30 minutes before serving so it returns to room temperature.

2) Then you need your bread products. I served pumpernickel crackers in a silver dish, and slices of French baguette in a basket lined with one of my nautical-themed scarves. A nut bread is another option.

3) Fresh and dried fruit always pair well with cheese. I used grapes, figs and dried dates. Pears and apples would also work nicely, as would champagne grapes for special occasions.

4) Round out the flavours with something sweet and something salty. I used caramelized onion and a mango chutney, along with olives and sweet-and-spicy pecans (recipe here). Other options are cured meat, honey or a port reduction.

5) Wine. Obviously. The more the better.
For the presentation, I piled everything on a sturdy wooden cutting board. Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere labelled a slate cheese board with chalk, and a mirrored tray would be cute too.


  1. As someone who doesn't like to cook, I am in love with the idea of a cheese tray. Not only is cheese one of my favourite foods (have you ever tried Tete de Moine? mmmm!), it's also healthy and easy to put together. Thanks for sharing Kat!

  2. I've never tried this before, so thx for posting!


  3. yumm this looks delicious! it's only 9am and you're making me crave lunch already :)

  4. Thanks for the tips and wow I want some cheese now! I tried abondance cheese the other day and am now reminded of it!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  5. this is so cool! i would love to either go to or host a cheese tasting party. ;)

    <3, Mimi

  6. This looks so good!! I'm a sucker for cheese and bread! :)

  7. Wow it looks amazing, I am a big cheese fan!


I genuinely enjoy reading everyone's comments. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!