How to build an epic cheese plate


Zara Ducker, Incoming Arts and Entertainment Editor

Step 1: Cheese

The first thing you should do is plate your cheeses in different areas on the board. You should have a variety of different cheese, some hard and some soft. I also suggest that you pick cheeses with different textures and shapes because it makes the plate very visually pleasing. Make sure that the cheeses pair well with the other ingredients you plan to add. My personal favorites are goat cheese, cheddar and brie.

Step 2: Crackers (or Bread)

The next step is to plate your crackers. Plate them in clusters all around the board, or line them up next to each other to make it look neater. You can add plain crackers, or spice it up and add flavored cracker. Trader Joe’s has a lot of interesting flavors of crackers like everything seasoning, fig rosemary and pumpkin cranberry. I suggest having a mix of different crackers, and maybe some bruschetta or baguette pieces for a change in texture.

Step 3: Olives

The third step is to add olives. Olives can be kind of messy to plate, so keep them in their plastic container or find a small bowl to place them in. You can choose from green olives, black olives or a mix of the two. It really depends on your liking. If you do not like olives, you can skip this step; however, I suggest you add something else green and savory.

Step 4: Fresh Fruit

Next, add a variety of different kinds of fruits. Pick colorful fruits to add some vibrancy to your board. Have fruits of different sizes and shapes and place them in the open spaces on your board. I recommend using either strawberries, cherries, grapes or figs. They are all really pretty and pair well many different kinds of cheeses. Although it may not seem like it, fruit is a really essential part of a good cheese board because it adds a sweetness and tartness, so don’t forget this step.

Step 5: Dried Fruits and Nuts

The next thing is to fill in all the little gaps and spaces with nuts and dried fruits. The nuts add a nice touch to the cheese plate and make it look much more complete. Macadamia nuts, almonds and walnuts pair well with soft cheeses. In addition to fresh fruit, you can also add dried fruits like apricots and cranberries.

Step 6: Jam and Honey

Next to the board, put little bowls of jam and honey for people to add on to their own individual combinations. It adds a really nice sweetness and texture to the board. Some of my personal favorite pairings are goat cheese and fig jam along with brie and cherry jam.

Feeling Lazy?

If you do not have the time, energy or organizational skills to build a cheese plate, do not worry! There are many ways to have an awesome cheese board without lifting a finger. One option is to buy a pre-prepared one from a store such as Whole Foods and Balducci’s. If you want a really nice custom cheese board, I suggest ordering from Cheesemonster Studio in Washington, DC. There, you are able to select different kinds of cheeses, crackers, chocolates, nuts and more. They can be very expensive depending on what you pick, but the quality of the ingredients and the size of the board are very satisfying. Additionally, Cheesemonster Studio offers a special monthly box where 15% of its profits are donated to charity.