Arranging a perfect cheese platter board is like creating a masterpiece. It is more than just piling cheese onto a plate. Cheese tasting is as sensitive an issue as wine testing. To put a basic cheese platter board together, it requires the love of all types of cheese. After having gone through the rigmarole of trying to arrange a cheese platter board, I can say that it is easy to make appetizer and can be done in no time at all.
All the cheese that is available in the market can be categorized into three basic cheeses. Cheese is made from cow, goat or sheep milk. Any platter should contain at least one of each type. On your platter you should aim at keeping from three to six different varieties of cheese. They should vary in color, texture and milk type to give a cornucopia of flavor and texture. At the same time, they should complement each other well.
The cheese texture ranges from soft and runny to semi hard or crumbly to hard. The taste ranges from mild to medium to strong. You can create an array of taste and color by choosing from a never ending list of gouda, cheddar, Parmesan, camembert, brie, herbal goat cheese and many more. Check with the cheese expert at your local grocery store to find out the different varieties that would complement each other. Be sure to taste the cheese if you have never tasted the variety before. Take in the aroma before tasting the cheese. Always taste the milder ones first and the most pungent ones in the end. Feel the texture of each cheese. All this will help you to create a balanced cheese platter.
Arranging and decorating the platter is another important aspect you must not ignore. For the base of the platter you could use a board made of wood, stone or marble and if you can't lay your hand on one of these then even a dinner plate will do. Cheese tastes best at room temperature so take out the cheese from the refrigerator at least an hour before serving. The mild variety should occupy the 12 o clock and the 6 o clock positions on your serving plate ensuring that people start with the mild cheese first and subsequently taste the stronger cheese. Cheese can be either displayed as a whole or cut into slices, squares or triangles. Remember to keep a separate knife with each variety of cheese. Keep a sharp knife for the hard ones, a butter knife for the semi hard ones and spoons to scoop out the soft ones.
There can be a whole lot of condiments that can be used for garnishing the platter. You can scatter nuts like hazel nuts or cashews or macadamia and raisins, fresh seasonal fruits like grapes, apricots, cherries or fresh figs, black or green olives, dates or slices of meat. It is important that crackers or some kind of bread accompany the platter. Ciabatta or bagel would be a good choice or you can even go in for pita bread or rice cakes or French bread. You can make it even more interesting by serving it with dips, fruit spreads and pickles.
Any talk of cheese is incomplete without the mention of wine. With so many different types of cheese, it makes sense to serve two different types of wine. You can serve champagne and a full bodied red wine.
All said and done, if you still feel that you do not have inclination to create a cheese platter, you can always shop for it at your local market. These days, you can even order for fresh cheese platters online. Whatever be the case, a cheese platter is the perfect choice as an appetizer for any and all kind of parties.