How to: Cheese Plates

I’m a huge fan of cheese plates – in fact, a cheese plate with multigrain bread, nuts and wine is filling and so yummy and not all that bad for you once in a while. Actually, it’s good for you! (according to this article by TIME). But seriously, if done right, a cheese plate is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. Here’s what I’ve learned:

cheese-plate-with-wine

Variety is absolutely necessary, but you don’t need too much. Strike a balance between soft and hard cheeses, aged and not-so-mature cheeses and of course, flavors. Know your audience: many people don’t like overly mature cheeses while others love them. If you do choose to have one or two aged/smelly cheeses, be sure to have some that are more muted in flavor so that your guests have a choice. Pairings are key; spicy almonds, fruit such as grapes, jams, bread, crackers are all good options. And of course wine! You can never go wrong with a good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar to go with bread as a side. A little presentation goes a long way – place the cheeses away from each other, with the accompaniments in between. Slice a few bites of each cheese to start with so that people are not intimidated and feel welcome to eat.

Pepper gouda from Nature's Basket
Pepper gouda from Nature’s Basket

My go-to’s are: mozzarella topped with olive oil, salt and black pepper; a less mature pepper gouda; manchego with fig jam (one of my favorites). But I’ll offer fair warning – you have to be picky with the mozzarella because if it is not fresh, it is no good.

Manchego, a beautiful Spanish cheese that goes best with anything figgy.
Manchego, a beautiful Spanish cheese that goes best with anything figgy.

Where to buy cheese in Bombay: Nature’s Basket has a great selection (I visit the one near Breach Candy). My favorites are the manchego and pepper gouda. Westside at Kala Ghoda also has a nice variety; the pesto gouda there is great. I’ve been wanting to try the Spotted Cow Fromagerie’s Brie and Camembert (available on foodesto.com) but haven’t yet.

Brie (I don't like the rind, so you'll see some of it is cut out!)
Brie (I don’t like the rind, so you’ll see some of it is cut out!)

cheese-plate-2

Save or share this page:Share on Facebook0Email this to someonePin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Yummly0Print this page

2 thoughts on “How to: Cheese Plates

Leave a Reply