The holidays are here, and with them come holiday parties. Whether you are hosting the party or attending one, deciding what to bring or serve is always a challenge. This year give the gift of cheese. With just a little bit of effort you can put together a cheese plate that will easily impress your friends and family.
Where to start?
The first step is to find the base that you will use to present the cheese. I like to use a wooden cutting board. They are functional and make for good presentation, but a platter or plate will work nicely. Whichever you decide you use, I recommend using something a little bigger than you think you will need. This will give you space to garnish and add serving utensils.
This is the part that takes a bit of planning and thoughtfulness. This is also the part, with all of the different choices, that can be a bit overwhelming. Don’t worry; we are here to help!
When choosing the cheese, the key theme to remember is variety. The strategy that was taught to me is to pick cheese from five different flavor profiles:
Pleasant Ridge Reserve—This is the only cheese to have won Best of Show three times, and the only cheese to have ever won both of the major national cheese competitions.
Ski Queen Gjetost—A uniquely Norwegian cheese, has a slightly sour flavor that tastes like sweet caramel with a smooth texture.
Saxon Big Ed’s Gouda—It’s creamy, smooth texture and rich milk flavors make it a great addition.
Hook’s 15-year Cheddar—This seasonal cheese has rich complex flavors that can only develop with time.
Uplands Cheese Rush Creek Reserve—A seasonal cheese not to be missed. Soft, spreadable paste that carries notes of mustard and beef broth.
This allows you to not only vary the flavors, but you also have the freedom to change the textures, colors, the type of milk used to create the cheese, and will work on almost any budget, all of which are important to creating plate that will be enjoyed by all.
To finish off the platter, there are any number of options that pair well with the cheese. Produce offers delicious apples, pears and grapes. We also offer many delicious dried fruits and nuts, like figs or dates, almonds or pecans. Stop by Meat and Deli and pick out a nice artisan salami or prosciutto, and pick from a variety of olives from the olive bar. What platter would be complete without crackers, jam or even honey? The possibilities are endless! If you need help finding any of these products, or perhaps abit of advice, please ask our amazing staff.
The next time a holiday party comes around, you can take comfort in knowing you’ll be ready to impress all your friends with your sophistication and artistry, with a tiny little of help from the Co-op!