Last night I hit my friend Alice’s house after work where I had the pleasure of partaking in a couple of glasses of chilled white wine, some excellent conversation, and that exact cheese platter above…It was the perfect way to kick off the weekend a day early, and I’m only mildly hungover this morning (which, now that I think of it, might be contributing to my aforementioned writer’s block, but I digress.)
Alice’s cheese plate was gold standard…it was tasty, substantial, and just plain lovely. While I realize it’s not exactly rocket science, constructing a rave-worthy cheese plate is a bit of an art. The right balance of sweet/salty/chewy/crunchy/creamy is key to success, and Alice hit it out of the park.
Here’s the breakdown of that cheese platter-o-perfection for your weekend entertaining needs:
- 1. A strong (stinky) cheese — Alice’s tray featured a nice pungent blue that was perfect alongside the sweet bits.
- 2. A mild, laid-back cheese (or two) – You need something to counter that blue (and to appease the stinky cheese-adverse).
- 3. Some salty crunch — Nuts are essential. Ideally nuts “elevated” like a black pepper cashews or macrona almonds.
- 4. Assorted chewy bits — Every cheese plate needs some sweet bits. Alice went big and busted out dried cherries, figs, and apricots.
- 5. Fresh fruit — Fruit pretties up the whole enterprise and serves as a palate cleanser. I’m partial to a slightly crunchy pear.
- 6. An classic baguette — For spreading that stinky cheese.
- 7. A decadent show stopper — Like, say…an elaborate cracker to support the laid-back cheese. Alice went with Raincoast Crisps, which are really rather awesome.