The Perfect Cheese Plate

Cheese plates or boards are a great theme to a cocktail party, a fun appetizer to a meal or a way to make an intimate dinner special. Many people think there's a science to creating them but we disagree. We've been making cheese plates for as long as we can remember and think they're pretty simple, given you follow our three quick rules for cheese plate assembly:

Five or Fewer: Too many tastes on a cheese plate will confuse your eater. He or she won't remember what they just tasted and if it was made with sheep, goat or gorilla milk! Keep things simple by limited the cheese selection.

Bold & Calming Accompaniments: Pairing a cheese bite with something bold such as cayenne toasted almonds can give you a fresh perspective on a familiar cheese. It can also tire out the tongue. Add accompaniments to your cheese plate that give your eat both adventurous and palette-cleansing opportunities. Try jalapeño jelly, dried figs and a pile of cucumbers. Or candied pecans, proscuitto and seasonal melon.

Just Cut & Room Temp: A freshly cut or freshly opened package of cheese is so much better than an abandoned wedge from the back of the fridge. Buy your cheese plate ingredients as close to the time when you'll be using them as possible. This ensures your guests will enjoy all the aromatic qualities your cheeses have to offer. Furthermore, make sure the cheeses have taken out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving (with the expection of ricotta and spreads). When served at room temperature, cheeses taste ten times more flavorful than when served cold.