When coming up with the idea of an awesome cheese tray, variety is the spice of … well, cheese! I think what makes a cheese tray not only look amazing but work well is having a variety of cheeses along with an assortment of other things such as crackers, fruit, nuts or meat.
And since it’s the perfect time to be a little extra creative with the holidays in full swing, I thought it’d be cute to make a little Christmas tree cheese plate, too.
So anyway, what are the rules of creating the perfect cheese tray?
I’ll let you in on my opinion: There are no real rules. I mean, sure, it must obviously contain cheese, but I think how you choose to present it and what you want to add to the tray are two things that’ll make it uniquely yours. I’m sure the elites are probably shaking their head, but I’ve never had anyone complain and rarely have a piece of cheese left whenever I put together a tray of assorted goodies. That has to count for something, right?
Anyway, I would suggest a few things if you’re at a complete loss:(I’m a huge fan of the Stella Fontina cheese!)
Try to include a variety of cheeses, instead of using all of one kind. Having a variety of textures and flavors can also add a fun element to your tray.
Here’s a breakdown of types of cheese:
- Aged includes Comte, Goat, Gouda and Aged Cheddar
- Soft cheeses include Constant Bliss, Brillat Savarin & Camembert
- Blue cheeses include Stilton, Valdeón and Gorgonzola
- Firm cheeses include Parmigiano-Reggiano, Manchego and Mimolette
There may be a lot of cheeses you’ve never heard of and I think it’s fun to try new things, but to keep it safe, I’d try to serve at least one familiar cheese.
How much should you serve? Here’s some guidelines:
If you’re hosting an event that is like a wine & Cheese party, then you probably will want to ensure you have enough cheese. Six pounds is about the right amount for 16 people and 9 pounds should work well for 24 people. The golden rule here is to buy about 4 ounces per person. Cheese tray accompaniments:
What should accompany your cheese selection? I like to use things I already have on hand. For mine, I had brocoli florets to decorate the ‘Cheese Christmas Tree’, and I also happened to have pepperoni from another recipe. But here are some ideas in case you may be at a loss:
Breads & crackers: A sliced fresh baguette, bread sticks, various types of crackers (I used crackers that were infused with rosemary and they were perfect!) Also having a variety helps vary the tastes and textures among the cheese.
Condiments: Adding a small bowl of a condiments can add so much to a tray. Try using a spicy mustard, sweet preserves, fruit spreads or honey.
Sweet & salty: Cured meats like pepperoni, salami or prosciutto are all good things you can add to your tray. Walnuts, almonds, pistachios or even candied nuts also work well.
Fruits: Seasonal dried fruit can work well, but you could also use fresh cut pears, fresh cut apples or even orange slices.Now, if you’re ready to have some fun, I’ve partnered with Stella Cheese to offer you a chance to win a trip to Napa Valley in addition to the cheese tray tips!All you have to do is click here to enter!
Good luck and enjoy creating your cheese tray!