A summer cheese plate makes for a seductive little canvas for the fruits of the season, but you gotta approach them with finesse lest the heat and humidity turn that pretty spread into a hot mess. Here are my top tips on how to build a sexy seasonal platter, complete with the 5 summer cheeses that can handle the heat. Scroll to the bottom for some summer wine and cheese pairings, too!
A Sexy Summer Cheese Plate That Can Handle the Heat
A summer cheese platter is always the perfect meal, especially when it’s hot AF out there. They’re portable for picnics, don’t require any cooking, and make a seductive little canvas for all the ripe berries and crisp veggies that are in season. But it’s hot AF out there, and not all cheeses can relax in the heat. : some wedges sweat and get waxy, others melt into nasty puddles.
What you shouldn’t put on a summer cheese plate:
- Hard cheeses, especially Alpines, goudas, and sheep’s milk cheeses. They make like bacon on a skillet and sweat out their precious fat, leaving a sad wedge with a waxy texture.
- Ooey-gooey cheeses, like ripe bries and Époisse. They can lose their shape in the sun, and spread into a nasty stank puddle.
- Fatty, aged Salamis, specifically the ones with the big fat pockets. Those guys sweat just like aged cheeses.
- Sticky, melty pairings, like chocolate, fig cake, and candied nuts.
What you should put on a summer cheese plate:
- Fresh produce, like berries, tomatoes, peaches, bell peppers, and cucumbers. They’re plentiful in late summer and make great palate cleansers.
- Pickles, like olives and goat-cheese-stuffed sweet peppers. Their briny acidity is refreshing between bites of rich cheese.
- Prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe. It’s a classic pairing that won’t get messy under a hot sun.
- Summer Sausage, it’s right in the name and it’s amazing with crisp pilsners and young cheddars