As it happens, I often begin a dinner party with a cheese platter since most eveyone loves cheese, and it's easy because no cooking is involved, lightening my load so I can enjoy my guests. Personally, I usually go with extra sharp cheddar, baby swiss and Brie, pairing them with saltine crackers, or slices of rye bread, or a bakery fresh baguette. What a delicious start!
However, here is what the pros recommend:
1) Choose 3 cheeses: One hard: such as sharp cheddar; one semi soft: like blue cheese, or Goulda; and one soft: like Brie, or goat.
Yikes, I dislike goat cheese, so not at my table, but many people love it. I like Havarti, a Danish semisoft cheese from cow's milk.
2) Next select 3 savory items to go on your platter: Nuts, olives, turkey or ham are examples.
3) Finally, choose 3 sweet food options: Fresh or died fruit works. Walmart suggests a pot of honey also, which I've never done.
Extra tips: Remember that cheese tastes best at room temperature, so set it out beforehand; and pick plain crackers that won't overpower the cheese. As mentioned, I like a combination of fresh bread and crisp crackers.
All excellent Walmart suggestions for hosting the ultimate "party" platter. (I have to remember not to serve chilled cheese.) Another tip is to prop Post-it-notes on toothpicks with the names of the different cheeses. However, I think most people know the usual suspects of cheese so I'll skip the labels. I mean, I never take a bite of goat cheese by mistake. The thought alone makes me pucker.
Nonetheless, what an appetizing spread on a budget. Cheese, cheese, and more cheese! For a crowd, I like leaving the platter out for the duration of the party.
Perfect nibbles before and after dinner, washed down with some mightly fine wine!
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