I paid a little visit to one of my fave hangouts, the Cheese Cave
in Claremont, to learn a few tips from the experts on creating a very special cheese platter for your guests! Marnie (left) and Lyddie are the lovely ladies (and sisters!) behind this amazing cheese shop and they are an absolute joy to be around! They are personable, witty and oh-so-very helpful! Not only do they take the time to let you taste so many delicious cheeses, but they’ll also educate you and give details behind each unique dairy adventure! They take their time with YOU and do such a great job recommending the right cheese. I have to say, cheese tasting is just as good as wine tasting and there is no friendlier and tastier place than the Cheese Cave
! Read below to get a few fun tips Lyddie gave me to pass along to you : )
Lyddie’s tips on making your own cheese platter:
1. What are you Drinkin’?!
There are many drinks that pair very well with cheese… beer, wine, champagne, etc. Decide what type of drink you want to serve and what style – stout, red wine, bubbly, etc… that way you can relay your booze of choice to the cheese shop experts and they’ll recommend the right cheeses for your party.
2. Choosing a Theme
Another fun way to choose cheese for a platter is to pick a theme. Decide if you want a platter of delicious imported cheeses from France or a platter full of the best cheese from Wisconsin to celebrate the Super Bowl! These are just a few of the endless ideas you can think up. Oh, and speaking of the Super Bowl, Lyddie said “Go Pack Go” several times during my cheese tasting… hmmm, I wonder who she wants to win : )
3. Know and Taste!
It’s important to know the different cheeses you will be serving so you can educate your guests about each one. When you head to the cheese shop, make sure you buy cheese that you like so you will be more knowledgeable when a guest asks about the lovely goat cheese you’ve set out. How impressive would it be if you could just blurt out a bunch of facts about your favorite truffle-infused, semi-soft, sheep/cow blend?!
4. Label the Cheese
Labels are adorable and will allow your guests to see the variety of cheeses you are serving on the platter. Here are are a few ideas on how you can label your own cheese platter!
5. Wrappin’ the Cheese
This little tip I learned from Marnie… I just wanted to throw it in because I was actually clueless about it! You’re not supposed to store your cheese in a plastic bag, what?! You should wrap it in parchment paper so the cheese can breathe! Hmm, who knew cheese could breathe? ; )
When you set out an incredible cheese plate, know a little background on the cheeses and pair them with a tasty drink, your guests will undoubtedly be impressed. It’s like a little extra gift to your guests! Cheese on!
Photo credit: Zan Passante