A great platter is more than aesthetically beautiful. It’s a pairing experience that can take your cheesegasm to the next level. I made you a simple formula to teach you how to make a sexy cheese plate easily and efficiently. I also left some of my go-to cheese pairing ideas at the bottom. Have any more cheese plate questions? Drop them in the comments below!
How to Make a Great Cheese Plate Every Time
I made you a simple formula to teach you how to make a perfect cheese plate, filled with a variety of wedges and pairings. A lot of you cheese sluts are intimidated by building a board and don’t feel confident choosing the cheeses or adding accompaniments, so I wanted to make it easier for you with some sexy math.
This cheese plate formula is designed to provide you with the right variety of cheeses, accompaniments, and pairings. It’s easily adaptable, so you can experiment and find out what tickles your fantasy. If you want some more guidance, scroll down for some foolproof pairing ideas.
Soft + Hard + Funky + Sweet + Crunchy + Juicy = Cheese Plate Perfection
Use this formula to make a perfect cheese plate every time. Change up what cheeses and accompaniments you use depending on your mood and what’s in season. You can do 3 cheeses + 3 pairings, 5 cheeses + 3 pairings—whatever you want! Once you get nice and comfortable with your cheese plate skills, you won’t need the formula at all.
Cheese: Soft + Hard + Funky
- Soft: the coquettes with luscious textures. Examples include ricotta, chèvre, burrata, Camembert, and Harbison.
- Hard: the burly hunks with complex flavors. Examples include cheddar, gouda, Parmigiano Reggiano, Manchego, and Comté.
- Funky: the rosey washed-rinds and pierced blues that bring the stink. Examples include Taleggio, Raclette, Roquefort, Stilton, and Gorgonzola.
Accompaniments: Sweet + Crunchy + Juicy
- Sweet: counters the salty cheese. Examples include honey, jam, chutney, cookies, chocolate, and dried figs.
- Crunchy: brings textural contrast. Examples include nuts, crackers, popcorn, crostini, and potato chips.
- Juicy: cleanses your palate in between bites. Examples include berries, olives, pickles, apples, and tomatoes.
Extras: Fresh Herbs + Knives
- Fresh Herbs: not necessary, but they smell wonderful and add a pop of color. Examples include rosemary, thyme, basil, and dill.
- Knives: use one for every cheese that needs one, and one utensil for every condiment too. Click here for a guide on choosing the right cheese knife.
Foolproof Cheese Pairing Ideas
Everyone has a different palate, so the perfect cheese pairing is subjective to your individual desires and preferences. Here are a couple of my favorite combinations to get you good and horngry.
- Ricotta + Parmigiano + Taleggio + tomato chutney + crackers + olives
- Fresh chèvre + Mimolette + Roquefort + fig jam + roasted almonds + grapes
- Harbison + Clothbound Cheddar + Stilton + onion jam + potato chips + pickles
- Camembert + Aged Gouda + Tête de Moine + chocolate cookies + roasted peanuts + apples
- Humboldt Fog + Ossau-Iraty + Blue d’Auvergne + honeycomb + pistachios + strawberries
Cheese Plate Commandments
- Arrange from mildest to strongest. The order on the plate is the order they should hit your palate.
- Serve everything at room temperature. Refrigeration dulls the flavor of your cheese and makes the texture more brittle.
- Buy the right amount of cheese: 1-2 oz total cheese for each person if this is the appetizer. 3oz if it’s the full meal.
- Slice it correctly. Click here for a guide on cutting the cheese.
- To avoid cross-contamination, use 1 knife for every cheese. You should also use 1 utensil for every accompaniment that needs one.
Now put that knowledge to work with these sexy cheese platter ideas: