Guests knocking on your door? Assemble an attractive, mouthwatering cheese plate in minutes with the following guidelines to show you the whey.
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The key to a good cheese plate is balance—choose three to four cheeses that differ in texture and taste. For example, choose an aged, semifirm cheese (such as Gouda), a funky blue (go for Gorgonzola), bloomy goat cheese (try Caña de Cabra) and a hard cheese (you can't go wrong with a flaky Parmesan).
Talk to your natural foods grocer to learn about local cheese producers, which are often unique. Remove cheese from your refrigerator one hour before serving.
Choose an array of breads and crackers to serve as a vehicle for cheeses and toppings. Slice a crusty baguette into thin rounds, brush with olive oil and bake in a 350-degree oven until golden. Combine thin, delicate crackers with heftier options that can withstand heavy, creamy cheeses. Offer rice crackers to accommodate gluten-free guests.
Include sweet and savory condiments to complement the cheeses, such as organic compotes, whole-grain mustard and fruit preserves; transfer to small dishes and scatter around the plate.
Feeling extra fancy? Place an oozing piece of raw honeycomb directly onto the plate—it's entirely edible, and honey tempers blue cheese's nose-tingling pungency.
Add fruits, nuts and olives for variety. Drape bunches of fresh grapes; add fresh or dried figs or dates and serve bowls of salty Castelvetrano or kalamata olives and oily Marcona almonds.
34 Degrees makes a wide range of delicious, super-thin baked crisps with high-quality ingredients and no added oil. The perfect companion for a standout cheese plate.
This sweet, earthy spread from Orchard Choice is made from organic California Mission figs, and pairs beautifully with just about any type of cheese.
Lesley Stowe's flavorful GMO-free crisps feature dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, flax, hazelnuts, sea salt, and honey—a winning complement for a variety of toppings.
Handpicked from small farms in Tunisia, Made in Nature's organic dates have a soft, caramel-like flavor and translucent blonde color that sets them apart.
How to build the perfect #cheese plate (via @deliciousliving)
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