How to Prepare a Delicious Cheese Plate for Guests
Cheese is a great appetizer or snack for guests for any occasion. The high protein content in cheese can stave off hunger while you wait for dinner and can help to level your blood sugar, something that is important if you are serving desserts and alcohol. Cheese can also be very tasty as there is such as wide variety, and it can be used in any number of ways. To prepare a nice cheese plate for guests, you want to consider the varieties you offer and how you present your cheese plate.
First consider a variety of cheeses. Soft cheeses are better for spreading on crackers although hard cheeses are easier to serve since you can slice these in your kitchen and arrange them on a platter before bringing them to your guests. Most cheeses have a pungent flavor and aroma so you want to mix up the types you serve. For example, feta cheese and bleu cheese are a bit drier and saltier, so serving these with a selection of smoother cheddar cheeses is best. You know you have a good variety of flavors, textures and aromas if you have a good selection of color on your cheese plate. Serve white cheeses, white with marbling, and yellow or orange cheeses. Remove the cheese from the refrigerator one hour before serving so it is soft enough to eat.
How you serve your cheeses should also be considered. If you are serving cheese to just another couple, you might offer a cheese ball with crackers they can prepare themselves since everyone can easily reach the platter. A cheese ball is typically rolled in crushed nuts and this can give it added texture. When serving a cheese ball, surround it with a variety of crackers that are thick enough to withstand the pressure of spreading cheese and set out individual cheese or butter spreaders so everyone can help themselves. Small plates or just napkins can do so they are comfortable. As with other c
heeses, set out your cheese ball for an hour or so; this will allow it to get soft for spreading.
To serve a selection of hard cheeses, you might put small square slices on a platter in a circle, mixing up their order. This makes for a fabulous presentation. You can serve this with a selection of crackers as well, and be sure to include a small cheese fork so that guests can place the cheese on the crackers without actually touching them.
Another way to present just cheese itself is to cut it into small cubes and put toothpicks in them. Arrange these on a platter and then guests can simply eat them right off the toothpicks. Look for fancy toothpicks in the liquor aisle; these will have a bit of tinsel or other decoration on the end and are very eye-catching.