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say cheese how to put together a cheese plate by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2 3 4
continued from page 3

cheese mates
Now a platter of cheese served all by its lonesome makes for rather a sad sight. Cheese, like people, generally needs a little company to feel festive. If you find that your cheese board itself looks a bit bare, or if you just want to round out your offerings with some edibles that will complement your cheeses, try any or several of the following:

  • Fresh fruit -- grapes are the easiest and most common pairing, fresh figs are yummy if you can get them in season, strawberries and melon also work well. Whole pears also make a tasty and attractive accompaniment (don't serve them cut, however, as they'll turn a not-so-lovely brown).
  • Dried fruit like figs, dates, apricots, pears, served in a pretty bowl
  • Fruit chutneys like peach, apricot and plum, dolloped in a nice dish
  • Olives, served in an attractive bowl (include an extra small empty bowl on the side for people to discard their pits)
  • Nuts (plain roasted or spiced), served, you guessed it, in a lovely bowl

You'll also want to provide some sort of a base for your cheeses. Offer at least one of the following, on a separate serving dish from the cheese board:

  • Good bread -- as with the cheese, it's best not to slice the bread in advance, unless you actually want to serve up stale bread to your guests
  • Sturdy crackers -- I like table water crackers best, as they're not too salty or too highly flavored, allowing the cheese to easily dominate

Master the art of the cheese plate and you're well on your way to becoming a fine party host -- no cooking required.


check out these related articles: 
cheers! a wine party | the fine art of finger foods | easy party foods | last-minute party food


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