No matter what type of event you are hosting, a cheese tray can be an excellent addition. Cheese trays are versatile as you can include as many different types of cheese you want, including your particular favorites. It is a great chance to tempt the tastebuds of your guests before the meal is served, making it a classic option for appetizers. Keep the following things in mind and you will have no problem serving the best cheese tray.
When you pick the cheeses for your tray, aim to select at least three or four different options. You want as wide of a range of flavors and textures that you can find. This means you should include some blue cheeses, some soft ones, some hard ones, and some aged ones. Always be sure to include one cheese (at least) that your guests will already know and love and don’t be afraid to buy sheep or goat cheese as well.
What Else To Include
Most of the time, your guests won’t want to eat cheese all by itself, unless it is a bite-sized morsel such as cheddar cube or a cheese curd. Even then, it is a good idea to have crackers, bread sticks, and sliced baguettes on the tray to eat with the cheese. As with the cheese, opt for bread and crackers of different flavors and textures. Also consider including chutneys, nuts, or fresh fruit and vegetables to complement the cheese.
While you may not need to label basic cheeses, such as cheddar or mozzarella, it is a good idea to label all unusual or potentially unfamiliar cheeses on your tray. Either put the label directly on the tray or place a labeled diagram of the cheese tray off to one side. This way when guests enjoy a new flavor and want more, they know what it is called.
When getting ready to serve your cheese tray, you need to take the cheese out of the refrigerator ahead of time. Almost every cheese tastes best at room temperature as the cold will subdue the flavor. This means you should start let them sit outside of the fridge for an hour before organizing the tray or serving it.
When it comes to serving your cheese tray, the presentation is completely up to you. Try to include labels, as mentioned above. Be sure that your tray includes one knife per cheese, particularly the soft or spreadable ones. Also make sure that strong-smelling cheeses are on a separate plate as this will prevent the flavor from overpowering the other options.