How to assemble a cheese platter
Gathering friends around a cheese table is both simple, pleasant and social. Setting out a delicious cheese platter means you can sit down and enjoy the company on an equal footing with your guests. You don't have to run to and from the kitchen, everything can be prepared in advance. We have put together a guide to what you should think about.
On the guest list
It is wise to keep in mind who the invitees are. Are there true cheese lovers who like cheeses with a punch, or is it wise to bet on milder varieties? Choose cheeses for every taste and feel free to surprise with a cheese that can challenge the sense of flavor a little.
The milder types are often the most popular, so it may be a good idea to buy most of them.
Calculation of amount of cheese
How much cheese you should calculate per person depends on what role the cheese plays in the meal. Should it be served for lunch, as one of several dishes in a dinner, as a snack or is it for a larger cheese table? This helps to plan the choice in relation to quantity, flavor, strength and number of cheeses.
Here are some general rules:
Main course: 250 - 300 gr per person (a little depending on whether it is a men's or women's team).
Appetizer: approx. 75-100 gr per person
Before dessert: approx. 50 – 70 gr per person
Dessert: 100 – 125 gr per person.
Snacks: approx. 50 gr per person
To avoid the different cheeses surpassing each other, it is advisable to choose a maximum of 4-5 cheeses. Varies in relation to milk type, consistency and colour.
Keywords for the shopping list:
White-molded and blue-molded cheese, hard cheeses and washed-rind cheese and fresh cream cheeses.
Remember to attach a knife to each cheese to be shared. Hard cheeses can be cut into sticks in advance. It contributes to variety on the cheese table, - which is also included.
Accessories for the cheese platter
Bread and unsalted biscuits
To highlight the pure cheese flavors, you should serve simple side dishes. It also makes the job of choosing drinks easier. Feel free to think of "something soft and something crunchy" as a crunchy good baguette together with biscuits / shortbread. Remember that cheese is salty itself, so avoid biscuits and crackers with a lot of salt.
It can also be good with nut/fruit bread. The danger is that the flavor becomes too dominant in relation to the rest of the side dish. A sweet fruit bread is, however, a good accompaniment to blue mold and well-aged cheeses as they often contain a lot of salt.
Rule of thumb: The saltier and more spicy the cheeses, the more suitable it is with a sweeter accompaniment.
Fruit and berries
Sweet and well-ripened fruit and berries are a good accompaniment to various types of cheese. Feel free to choose seasonal fruit and berries that give a nice sweetness and occasionally a little sourness. (The exception is currants, which in their original form quickly become too bitter and sour).
Fresh berries also make a great garnish.
Other good accessories for cheese:
Fig marmalade and acacia honey have almost become classics on the cheese board.
The same applies to nuts in honey.
Crunchy nuts provide a nice contrast to soft cheeses and taste good both in natural and toasted form. (Almonds, walnuts, pecans and Brazil nuts - there are plenty of snacks to choose from.)
Dark chocolate is an exciting combination for firm, aged cheeses and for blue cheeses. Dark chocolate with too high a percentage of cocoa, however, can quickly seem bitter, so stick to it below 70 percent.
In many countries, mostarda is a popular accompaniment to parmesan and well-aged cheeses.
Dried fruit and berries provide a nice sweetness. Serve them as they are, or cut them into pieces or slices.
Olives (especially if the cheese is included as part of a tapas table).
Pickled side dishes provide sweetness, acid and aromatic flavour. Both marmalade, jam, jelly and chutney are good with different types of cheese. (The difference between a marmalade and a chutney is the ratio between sweet and sour and the extent to which the ingredients are pureed or finely chopped. Chutney is also usually sweet and sour and more strongly spiced).
Finally: Drop paprika and celeriac. Vegetables often contain bitter substances that spoil the taste of the cheese. A green salad is temporarily included. It has a neutralizing effect and gives the cheese a crisp and nice freshness.