The world of cheese, much like the world of wine, can be intimidating if you're unfamiliar with the territory. Follow these tips, and you'll be sure to end up with a cheese plate that looks (and tastes) like it was made by a pro!
Step 1: Choose Your Cheeses
When putting together a cheese plate, we recommend choosing 3-5 cheeses with varying milks and textures to make the plate more interesting. Most cheeses can typically be categorized by their texture: soft, semi-firm, hard, and blue. Some of our favorites include:
Fontaine Triple Cream, Humboldt Fog, Taleggio
3-Month Manchego, White Cheddar, Smoked or Flavored Goudas
Aged Gouda, Prima Donna, Midnight Moon
Buttermilk Blue, Cambozola, Gorgonzola Dolce
Soft cheeses are usually aged one week to three months and include crumbly goat's milk cheeses and decadent, buttery triple cremes. A few of our favorites in the soft category include Fontaine Triple Cream a creamy, buttery triple cream that The Market staff has affectionately nicknamed "cheese butter;" Humboldt Fog, a two-textured goat's milk cheese that is light and lemony with a thin layer of vegetable ash in the center for a visually stunning centerpiece; and Taleggio, an earthy, mushroomy Italian icon that is just funky enough.
Semi-firm cheeses are typically aged a little longer than soft cheeses, but you don't have to work out your arm muscles to cut through them. Fontina, young Goudas, and Havarti are great examples of semi-firm cheeses and they are often great melting cheeses as well. For a cheese plate, we recommend a young Manchego, a semi-firm sheep's milk Spanish classic with a signature basket weave rind.
Hard cheeses can be aged for years and range in sharpness and complexity. A few of the Market's best sellers include Prima Donna, a delightful cross between aged gouda and Parmigiano Reggiano; Midnight Moon, a nutty and brown buttery aged goat cheese with a smooth, caramel-like finish; and our 4-Year Aged Gouda, an aged gouda from Holland that has notes of butterscotch and caramel and little bits of crunchy crystallization.
People often have a love or hate relationship with blue cheese. For those who are new to the world of blue, we recommend Cambozola, a blue/brie hybrid that is a customer favorite. Gorgonzola Dolce would be the next step up -- closer to a traditional blue, but still relatively mild. For true blue lovers, Buttermilk Blue is a classic, creamy choice.
Step 2: Choose Your Accoutrements
Once you've assembled your cheeses, choose 2 kinds of crackers - one plain and one with flavor. For plain crackers, we recommend DiBruno Olive Oil Crostini or La Panzanella Croccantini. For crackers with some flavor, we reach for New York Everything Flatbreads, Jan’s Farmhouse Crisps, and Effie’s Nutcakes.
Finally, dress up your cheese plate with accompaniments like fresh fruit and berries, dried fruit, salty or sweet nuts, olives, chutney, honey, and/or charcuterie.
Step 3: Assemble Your Plate
To make your cheese plate 'gram-worthy, start by prepping your cheeses. You're going to want to cut each of them into different shapes to make your plate visually interesting.
As a general rule of thumb, follow the shape and texture of the cheese when deciding how to cut them. If the cheese is sold as a wedge, cut it into triangles. If it comes in a square or rectangle, cube it. If it crumbles when you try to cut it, go with the crumble. If it's too soft to cut, leave it alone and serve it as one solid piece.
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Who wants to dig into this Euro Trip Cheese Plate?! This board showcases our favorite cheeses imported from Europe, including: 🇩🇪 Cambozola, creamy & sweet Blue/Brie (Germany) 🇪🇸 Manchego, mild & grassy (Spain) 🇫🇷 Delice de Bourgogne, buttery & decadent (France) 🇮🇹 Aged Asiago, sharp & savory (Italy) 🇳🇱 Prima Donna, nutty & sharp (Holland) Swipe left to see how this board came together! … #platersgonnaplate #cheeseplate #cheeselover #importedcheese #spoonfeed #feedfeed #f52grams #eeeeeats #huffposttaste #njeats #shoplocal #gallowaynj #abseconnj #whitehorsewine #themarket #cheese #cheeseboard #cheeseboards
Once your cheeses are prepped, add them to your board. Then, put anything you'll be serving in a jar or small bowl onto your platter. Fill in the remaining space with the rest of your accompaniments.
Finally, pour yourself a glass of wine, snap a pic of your masterpiece, and enjoy!
We also have pre-assembled cheese night bundles to take the guesswork out of shopping.