Cheese Trays

Cheese trays up, up and away!

Cheese trays are the superheroes of entertaining, saving the day from humdrum party fare. Need a quick spread for an impromptu gathering? Cheese trays will be there in the nick of time. Want to impress some sophisticated guests? Cheese trays always have your back. Need to feed a hungry horde on game day? Cheese trays to the rescue!

What's the secret of the cheese tray's super strength? It's the combo of unrivaled flavor and amazing texture that gives a cheese board its power. When you place a cheese tray on a table, heads turn, hearts beat faster, and conversation stops until everyone's plate is loaded.

Here in Wisconsin, we're home to the tastiest, highest-quality, most award-winning cheeses on the planet. Which means our cheese trays pack some extra punch. When you build your tray with some Wisconsin aged cheddar, alpine-style, or asadero cheese, you're joining the fight to save the world from lackluster party fare.

Take a spin through our website to meet more Wisconsin cheese superheroes. Search our compendium of recipes for great ideas for meals and meat and cheese trays. Or read on for recommendations on building better cheese trays.

Tips for a super cheese tray

Here are some of our favorite tips for creating a champion cheese tray.

  1. Order enough cheese. When buying cheese or charcuterie, plan on roughly two ounces of cheese and two ounces of meat per person. If the cheese tray will serve as the entire meal, plan on five ounces of each.
  2. Focus on variety. A variety of taste, texture, color, and flavor combinations is the key to a successful cheese tray. Include hard cheeses like aged parmesan, semi-firm varieties like orange cheddar cheese, soft cheeses like burrata, a blue cheese like gorgonzola, and some specialty products like a smoked cheese. If you can't find the cheeses you want at your grocery store, check local listings for a gourmet cheese delivery service.
  3. Add flavor accents. For charcuterie, you can include whole-muscle cuts, cured sausages, and patés. Nuts like marcona almonds and candied pecans add salt and sweetness. Honey, fig jam, dried apricots, and grapes create additional flavor combinations.
  4. Let the cheese warm up. Flavor is enhanced when cheese is served at room temperature, so be sure to take it out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving.
  5. Label items. Guests love to know what type of cheese and charcuterie they're eating. Write the names of varieties on small tent cards or in chalk on the cheese tray.

Videos: Discover Your Next Favorite Cheese

FAQs: What is a cheese tray?

What is a cheese tray?

A cheese tray, or cracker and cheese tray, is a collection of cheeses that is often served with bread, crackers, cured meats, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and dips or spreads.

What's the best way to arrange a cheese tray?

Start with something tall in the middle like a glass full of grapes or breadsticks. Arrange the cheeses and larger bowls of dips or jams around the board, then set the breads and crackers next to the cheeses. Next, place the charcuterie meats, experimenting with shapes like folds, roll-ups and bunches. Finally, fill in the spaces between with nuts, fruit, vegetables, and other ingredients.

Wisconsin: where cheese trays get their power

Here in Wisconsin, we've seen the power of cheese firsthand. It starts when someone sinks their teeth into a chunk of Wisconsin aged cheddar or a slice of Wisconsin swiss. After a moment, the chewing slows, the eyes widen, and then comes the question we've heard a million times: "Where has this cheese been all my life?"

The answer, of course, is Wisconsin, where all the best cheeses are born. We've been obsessively making cheese for 180 years, and our cheesemakers have unlocked the secret to the awesome power of cheese. It starts with milk from our most fertile dairy land. Our cheese is crafted with Old World techniques and the latest innovations. And it's made by perfectionists who have won more awards than cheesemakers from any other state or nation in the world.

So, next time you're building a cheese tray, harness the power of Wisconsin cheese to create a super party spread.

Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?

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