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The perfect cheese platter

Fiona Goniak, National Cheese Specialist – Coles
Monday, July 9, 2012
The perfect cheese platter

Ever wondered how to impress guests with a gourmet cheese platter, or how to plan a quick quick-and and-easy cheese board platter at a picnic? Here's all you need to know.

Formal entertaining

A classic platter consists of a portion of creamy brie or camembert, a bloomy blue and cheddar. Although if you want to mix it up, try an ashed goat milk pyramid, a soft washed rind, a peppered cheddar and a firm blue cheese. These flavours offer a well balancedwell-balanced platter with taste and texture differences.

Hints

  • Size, shape, texture and colour are what make a platter not only appealing to the eye, but to the palate. Experiment with soft creamy brie on a crunchy fruit and nut cracker bread for texture difference
  • Provide a basket with a mixture of different crackers and breads for texture
  • Fresh grapes not only complement the cheeses, but cleanse the palate between cheese types
  • Use 25g of cheese per person for each cheese and no more than four cheeses per platter

Picnic platter

Cheddars, Swiss, Edam edam and Gouda gouda cheeses work well for a picnic platter. Soft marinated cheeses and feta spooned directly from the pot or jar are also an easy, no no-fuss gourmet option on a picnic.

Hints

  • Fresh grapes, dried apples, apricots, dates, figs or muscatel grapes are all easy to pack into small containers for entertaining outdoors
  • Use pre-cut cubes, slices and batons of firm cheese for ease of use outdoors. A small boxed cCamembert pre-cut into wedges and left to serve in the box works well
  • Toothpicks are a handy addition to the picnic basket
  • Consider going for a centrepiece hero cheese, and play with the supports! Drinks match: For a non-alcoholic alternative, sSparkling wWaters and sSparkling aApple juice are complementary. Avoid orange orange-flavoured drinks with cCheeses as a clash may occur.

General platter hints

  • Don't overdo it, keep it simple!
  • Select fresh fruits and fruit pastes to complement the cheeses, such as apple, pear, apricot, quince and fig. It is best to avoid strawberries and kiwi fruits as they are acidic and can take away from the delicate and creamy cheeses
  • Use an oversized platter to give yourself plenty of room to display and cut the cheese

More expert advice

Related video: Curtis Stone talks us through his favourite Italian cheeses.

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