Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Perfect Cheese Pairings for the Holidays

Holiday entertaining season is in full swing, and we're getting into the spirit at FbDB with this casual yet elegant, rustic cheese plate. It's often said, but always true, we really do 'eat' all things first with our eyes. Random slices of cheese and bread tossed haphazardly on a paper plate would taste just as delicious as a perfectly styled cheese platter......probably. But who's going to savor the experience? Make your cheese party a feast for all the senses by arranging your treats attractively on a butcher block cutting board, woven tray, slate cheese board, or even an upended old wooden crate. Arranging on different height levels--rather than everything flat on the table--is an easy way to make your display as visually appealing as it is delicious.

From the perfect cheese knives to rustic linens, we've got you covered.....and our table styling experts have got some advice to help you seriously raise your cheese plate game, as well. Read on for our five tips for a perfect holiday spread!

Photo: Jessica Downey

5 Steps to a Perfect Cheese Plate

1. Choose a Good Variety: For our cheese plate, we chose two semi-soft cheeses (Smoked Gouda and Winey Goat, seen above from left), a soft cheese (Brie), and a crumbly cheese (Blue). This strikes a great balance between flavors and textures, always the goal for a successful spread!

2. With A Little Help From My Friends: No matter what varieties you're serving, cheese is best buddies with sweet snacks like fresh fruit, honey, chutney, candied nuts and dates. Salty treats like prosciutto, olives, salted nuts or pickles also provide variety and interest. And of course, speaking of friends, cheese is natural besties with all kinds of breads and crackers!

3. Let it Rest: Cheeses are at their best at room temperature, so while you'll want to store these in the fridge to keep them fresh until your party, make sure to remove all cheeses and let them sit for at least an hour prior to serving.

Photo: Jessica Downey

4. Cheese 101Some of your guests may know their Camembert from their Saint-AndrĂ© on first sight, from all the way across the room.....but what about those who are just learning about cheeses? Help them out with a few well-placed signs. We especially love these chalkboard paper place cards from Kitchen Papers as tiny, calligraphied 'menus', or these hand-stamped cheese markers from Cake Vintage (both available at FbDB)!

5. Spread Out Your Spread: Just because it's called a 'cheese plate' doesn't mean everything has to literally sit on one plate! Give your goodies some breathing room and your guests room to maneuver by serving things in and on several dishes. We love the texture of these rustic wooden serving boards and bowls, or a glass cloche to add a little height and drama!

Photo: Jessica Downey

Photo: Jessica Downey

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