Match the Cheese and Fruit

Match the Cheese and Fruit

May 19

When it comes to making a cheese and fruit platter, there are many options. Following are a few things to consider when putting together your platter.

How much cheese and fruit to buy   

Before you decide which cheeses and fruit to buy, you need to know about how many people you’ll be feeding. You should also know what else is on the menu. Is the cheese and fruit plate the only appetizer or one of many? Most experts recommend 1 to 2 ounces per person.

How many varieties

Deciding how many varieties is a purely personal thing. Some people like to offer just one special cheese, while others prefer three to five different types. Let your personal tastes and budget determine what you want to offer. A good rule of thumb is that if you are incorporating several different cheeses, it is wise to mix hard and soft varieties. Avoid cheese that is too pungent; it can overwhelm the more subtle varieties.

Types of fruit

Using fruit that is local and in season is a safe bet.  If it’s spring, add strawberries. Use watermelon in the summer and apples in the fall. You can always supplement with grapes, which are good in almost any season. Pears are also almost always available.

Try to choose fruits that won’t darken or that can hold up to being exposed to air for an hour or more.

The platter

While the platter itself isn’t as important as what you put on it, you will want one that is appropriate for the occasion. If the event has a theme, by all means match your platter to the theme or occasion. Some suggestions include using a melamine tray found at discount stores and available in colorful styles and shapes.

If the event is more formal, a silver or crystal tray may fit the bill. Or, use a cutting board, which actually is a great choice since it allows guests to slice the cheese easily.

Utensils

Be sure to have a cheese knife for every cheese, tongs, forks, cocktail picks and napkins available for guests to help themselves with.

What to include

You might pick one country and feature their cheeses. Or, you might introduce your guests to a variety of cheese from goat and sheep milk in addition to cow’s milk. A mix of hard and soft is always appropriate for every occasion.

Specific combinations

Cheeses of France: include a Brie, a Camembert and a Comte. This gives you a soft, a hard and a fragrant. Small slices of French bread, bright red strawberries and grapes will make a perfect presentation.

Cheddar platter: You can create an international cheddar platter with varieties from the United States mixed with those of England and Ireland. Cheddar goes perfectly with apples, which apple pie fans have recognized for a long time.

The possibilities are endless, let your tastes and imagination be your guide. The beauty of a cheese and fruit platter is that it requires little attention once it is put out. Just replenish anything that is popular and let the guests enjoy themselves. Cheese and fruit is safe on the counter for several hours unless it is very warm. If the weather is too warm, refrigerate until the last minute.

Reference:
1. Cheese Pairing – Ideas for Cheese and Wine, Beer, Fruit, Bread …
2. Favourite fruit and cheese pairing. – Chowhound