How to Make the Ultimate Cheese Board

How to Put Together a Cheese Plate


  1. Pick your cheeses.Ask your cheesemonger for suggestions if you have no idea where to start. For a cheese platter, you should get a variety of different types of cheeses. You should have at least one familiar type of cheese, such as Brie or aged cheddar. Pick one each from the following categories:
    • Aged Cheeses: Aged cheddar, goat Gouda, Swiss, etc.
    • Soft Cheeses: Brie, Camembert, Constant Bliss, etc.
    • Firm Cheeses: Gruyere, Jarlsberg, Monterey Jack, Provolone, etc.
    • Blue Cheeses: Stilton, Gorgonzola, etc.
    • Alternatively, pick one cheese from each type of milk - goat, sheep, and cow - to ensure that several different flavors are present on your platter.
  2. Decide what you will serve with the cheeses.You will want to have a variety of crackers or breads. You should also have a few fruits out to eat along with the cheeses.
    • Serve flavored crackers with mild cheeses. The cheese will accentuate the flavor in the cracker.
    • Serve seedy crackers with cheeses such as goat's cheese. .
    • Slices of baguette work well with soft, easily spreadable cheeses such as brie.
    • Edamame, maple syrup, and honey are interesting and delicious accompaniments to soft, fresh cheeses such as feta.
    • Try serving praline bacon or nut brittle with your blue cheeses.
    • Serve hard cheeses with slightly spicy foods such as cranberry-beet horseradish or apple mustard.
    • Apple slices pair well with Brie and Camembert, as do sun-dried tomatoes and warm pistachios.
    • Thinly-sliced onions are an excellent complement to blues or pungent double/triple cream cheeses like Taleggio or St. Andre.
  3. Decide how many cheeses will you serve.Will it be served as a course or as an hors d’oeuvre? You will need much less cheese – 1 oz-1.5 oz per person of each type – if you are going to serve cheese as a dessert course. If it is an appetizer, served buffet style, consider your guests and their appetites. Two to three ounces per cheese per person will work if you are serving a light meal.
    • Keep your numbers odd. Cheese plates should have an odd number of cheeses – 3, 5, 7, etc. – rather than even. This is a guideline; youcouldserve 4 or 6 if you like, but the balance of odd numbers is visually pleasing and is reflected in other arts, particularly Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement.
  4. Arrange your cheeses from mildest to strongest if you are serving cheese as a course.Place the rest of the cheeses – mildest to strongest – clockwise, down and around. Your mildest cheese will end up next to your strongest cheese, if you have a sizable cheese plate. Blues are almost always the strongest cheeses on the plate, followed by washed rind cheeses. Keep your cheeses within the rim of the plate, or the plate will look messy.
  5. Add general accompaniments.Other foods can intensify and even change the flavor of cheese. Serve cheeses with a variety of accompaniments like toasted nuts, quince paste (membrillo), slices of pear or apple, dried fruits, wine jelly, Italian mostarda, fig cake, or date cake (and any number of other treats available today).
    • Try making some homemade apricot jam for a good pairing with hard cheeses like Parmesan and gran padano.
  6. Pick a drink to go with it.Water is nice, but wine is finer. If you are serving cheese at the end of the meal, the last wine you serve with the entrée can be served with dessert if you don’t want to fuss too much. You can also choose a wine to pair with your cheese course, if you really want to create a dazzler (ask your cheesemonger for advice if you have a broad range of cheeses). With strong blues, nothing beats dessert wines like Port, Tawny Port, Muscat, late harvest Zin, Sauternes, etc. Milder cheeses can be overwhelmed by syrupy dessert wines, so avoid them if you are not serving strong cheeses.
  7. Relax and enjoy.Cheese courses should be fun and eye-opening. Don’t stress. If you don’t want to do the work, your cheesemonger will be more than happy to help you out.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    How do I learn the amount of cheese needed for different size groups?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Talk to someone in the deli of your local supermarket; they are usually very good at estimating this.
  • Question
    How might cheese be used or served in a buffet?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Usually in small centimeter cubes or if there is a salad section, in shreds. It depends on what dishes the cheese would go with in the buffet.
  • Question
    Can you cut cheese into cubes?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, you can!
Unanswered Questions
  • What is a guideline to follow when preparing cheese?
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  • Find yourself a reliable cheesemonger. Not all cheesemongers and cheese shops are created equal! Is the cheese pre-wrapped, or is it cut to order for you? Does the cheesemonger let you taste the cheese before you buy? Is the cheese shop busy, and does the cheese inventory turn over frequently? You need to answer these questions when you walk into a cheese shop before you consider buying. After all, good cheese isn’t cheap: it will cost you anywhere between /lb and /lb, depending on method of production, country of origin, and scarcity. If you are going to shell out that kind of dough, make sure the cheese is treated well and is at its peak (à point, in French) before you buy.
  • If you want to make a cheese display rather than a cheese plate, follow the rationale for assembling a plate but then keep your cheeses artfully arranged on a wooden or bamboo cutting board. Sprinkle with dried fruits, toasted nuts, and edible flowers (if you like frou-frou). Serve bread on the side. Make sure to replenish regularly.


  • Use a cheese knife - it works better and is safer!

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