Cheeseboards and grazing platters are a great way to experience a variety of different cheese types and flavours. They are perfect for small gatherings or larger dinner parties. In this article, we look at how to put together the perfect cheeseboard or grazing platter.
How to Create a Perfect Cheeseboard or Grazing Platter:
When putting together your board or platter, it is important to choose cheeses that will provide a nice variety and appeal to all. Choosing a theme for your platter can help to give it some structure, and help give you some direction when choosing the cheese. Examples of themes may be Orange cheese or Blue cheese. This can ensure variety, such as a mild blue cheese, medium-strength or very strong. Alternatively, you may choose to have cheeses on your platter made with different kinds of milk, for example, cow, ewe or goat.
Grazing platters are extra-large cheeseboards. They have a larger portion of cheeses and accompaniments and are ideal when hosting parties or events with larger numbers of guests.
When displaying blue, semi-hard or hard cheese, cut some small portions, to allow for easy eating by the guests. You can display a larger portion of cheese on the platter for decoration. This can be cut down into smaller portions if required.
Soft cheese should not be cut. This is because it will become very creamy at room temperature. It is also easy for guests to cut the cheese themselves if desired.
Cheeseboards are a great way to try a variety of different cheeses on a much smaller scale than a grazing platter. Themes are also beneficial when creating a cheese board. However, it is recommended to have a variety on the board, think one type of cheese for each category. (eg, hard, semi-hard, soft, fresh and blue).
Eat the cheese board in the order of the flavours and textures provided by each of the cheeses. Starting with the soft, light and fresh cheeses, enjoying the blue cheese in the middle as a light and refreshing palette cleanser, and lastly finishing off with the rich, heavy hard cheeses.
Accompaniments are the additional extras used for additional flavours and textures along with the cheese. Your choice of accompaniments is largely dependent on the flavours you like and what you enjoy eating. Having a nice variety of cheeses means that any accompaniments will match well with any of your cheese.
For example, charcuterie, dried fruits (think apricots, muscatels etc) and quince paste. All these are easy to eat, great flavours and make little to no mess, in comparison to some other jams and pate!