Cheese Platter

Assembling a stunning fruit and cheese platter requires no cooking. I follow a few key principles to be sure it looks festive and is easy[ for guests to help themselves. First, I choose an interesting assortment of cheeses—hard sharp cheeses, soft creamy ones, and pungent blue cheeses. I look for an interesting mix of flavors, textures, and colors.]

Level:
Easy
Ingredients
Directions

Go to the best cheese shop in town and ask the person at the counter which cheeses are ready to serve. Taste everything; they expect you to. We all know that the Brie may look terrific, but it can be underripe and tough or overripe and ammoniated. You want only the freshest cheeses that are perfectly ripened. Take them home, refrigerate them, and then bring them to room temperature a few hours before serving.

Second, be sure to have a platter or wooden board that is flat and large enough to hold the cheeses without crowding them. Arrange the cheeses with the cut sides facing out, and with several small cheese knives, maybe one for each type of cheese.

Third, to finish the platter, add sliced breads or crackers, and green leaves. I use either lemon or galax leaves, which you can get from your florist. If you have a garden, any large flat leaf like hydrangea looks beautiful, but be sure they aren't poisonous and are pesticide-free!

Overall, the simpler the design, the better the platter looks. Group each kind of cheese together and add one large bunch of green or red grapes in the center to create a visual focal point. Fill in the spaces with lots of crackers or small slices of bread.


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    My husband fell victim unwittingly to the disasterous digestive system consequences of eating a white fish called ESCOLAR. It was all my fault, I'll be the first to admit. I was unaware that said fish was often recommended as part of a colonoscopy prep diet, given its powerful properties of elimination.
     

     
    In an effort (well meaning, I might add) to brighten his mood, I whipped him up a tempting supper of chicken-fried Escolar and ham beans, a meal his mother often served him as a sullen child.
     

     
    Sadly, the Escolar kicked in just as he stretched out in his Barcalounger with a restorative snifter of brandy.
     

     
    Thankfully, I ran across this recipe and (as usual) Ina has saved the day!
     

     
    A festive cheese platter was just what my husband needed! It resuscitated his spirits (which were understandably poor) as well as providied him with greatly needed relief of his physical suffering.
    Thank you for this recipe. My last cheese tasting party was a complete disater! Now I know that instead of throwing a bag of string cheese on my kitchen counter my guests would appreciate having them each removed from the packaging, peeled, and arranged nicely on a platter! Thanks Ina!
    Yummy cheese and with grapes its even better to give a refreshing taste after changing cheeses! :)
    Ina's tips for composing a cheese platter that is elegant in its simplicity were very helpful to me. In just a few minutes I can put together an appetizer that is as beautiful to look at as it is good to eat.
    Someone might think this is not a recipe but I am glad it was posted. I was asked to bring a cheese platter to a event and did not want to tell them that I had no idea what kind of cheese to use or how to put on together and it was cheaper to do it myself then pay a deli. My platter was perfect and I followed her recipe and it looked great and was eaten up in no time.
    I love Ina and have learned a lot from her tips I love the way she folded the table cloth and the Cheese platter was lovely. Cheese is food to me. I used her idea of fresh herbs in place of flowers on the table for St.Patricks it looked great "BRILLIANT"
    I find this "recipe" a valuable guide for planning a cheese platter I'm responsible for in the near future.
    Ina's advice on how to arrange a cheese platter is excellent. I love her tips and ideas. To the person who said this is not a recipe--it's not supposed to be a recipe. It's a cheese platter!
    I find Ina's show to be so inspirational. She's very talented, not only in cooking, but in presentation too. I make note of her tips for placing food on the serving platers for a buffet, little things I wouldn't think of myself, that make the display appealing and artistic. I also like her laid-back style. She's a successful woman, but seems like she could be your next door neighbor too.
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    Easy Holiday Appetizers