Gourmet Cheese Platters

Gourmet cheese platters are game-changers

When you want to up your entertaining game, gourmet cheese platters can work wonders. Put a splendid spread of gourmet cheese on the table and casual gatherings become instant soirées. Routine get-togethers are suddenly legendary blowouts. And low-key parties become shindigs they'll never forget. Chalk it all up to the power of cheese – and the incredible appeal of a gourmet cheese platter.

In Wisconsin, we're intimately familiar with the charms of a cheese platter. Not a dinner party, game day, or social gathering goes by without a cheese platter or meat and cheese board on the table. Just as gourmet cheese platters can take your parties to the next level, you can count Wisconsin Cheese to take your gourmet platters up a notch or three. That's because Wisconsin Cheese is simply the tastiest, highest quality cheese in the universe. ‘Nuff said.

Take a walk around our website to meet some of our famous Wisconsin Cheeses. Search our index for great recipes for parties or Tuesday night dinner. Or scroll down for our best tips on building a gourmet cheese platter with Wisconsin Cheese.

The key to building great gourmet cheese platters

Beautiful gourmet cheese platters don't just happen – they take just a bit of planning and preparation. Here are some of our favorite tips for creating cheese platters like a pro.

Choose great cheese. Select 4 – 6 Wisconsin Cheeses, looking for a balance of taste and texture. Start with a hard cheese like an aged white cheddar or parmesan. Add a semi-firm variety like provolone, gouda, or the best gruyère cheese you can find. Mix in a semi-soft variety like a mild cheddar cheese, havarti, or fontina. And don't forget a soft cheese like a feta, fresh mozzarella, or mascarpone. A blue cheese like gorgonzola or cheddar blue adds a little character to the platter, as does a washed-rind cheese like a brick or Montague.

Add meat and flavor accents. To create a feast of flavor and texture, consider adding cured meats, nuts, hearty crackers, olives and pickles, dried fruits, roasted vegetables, and small bowls of dips, jams, mustards, and honey to your platter.

Plan your portions. If your gourmet cheese platter is an appetizer, you can plan on 2 ounces of cheese and 2 ounces of meat per person. If your platter is meant to be the entire meal, 5 ounces of each is about right.

Choose a beautiful surface. Wooden cutting boards or marble slabs are the top choices for gourmet cheese platters. Slate or chalkboards let you write the names next to each cheese.

Set the cheese out early. Cheese tastes best when it's served at room temperature. Setting the cheese out 30 minutes before your guests arrive will allow it to warm up. Give every cheese its own knife so guests aren't spreading the mascarpone with the same utensil they used to cut the gorgonzola.

Videos: Discover Your Next Favorite Cheese

FAQs: What are gourmet cheese platters?

What are gourmet cheese platters?

Gourmet cheese platters are spreads of high-quality cheeses that are often accompanied by cured meats. Cheese platters also often include flavor accents such as nuts, pickles, olives, dips, and spreads.

How long before the party should I build a cheese platter?

For a small cheese platter, you can build it several hours ahead of time and place in the refrigerator. For a larger gourmet cheese spread, you'll want to build it where you'll be serving it so that your arrangement isn't damaged as you carry it from one location to another. The ideal time to begin arranging your gourmet cheese platter is roughly 30 minutes before your guests arrive.

Wisconsin: where every cheese is gourmet

In Wisconsin, we take issue with the term "gourmet" when it comes to cheese. That implies some cheeses are better and more important than others, and we just don't see it that way. For us, a freshly made ricotta is just as appealing as a 10-year-old aged cheddar. A mild baby swiss can hold its own with a sharp gorgonzola any day. And a simple slice of provolone is just as appealing as a fontina hand-rubbed with chili, cumin, and caraway seeds. Simply put, every Wisconsin Cheese is a masterpiece, created by the most talented, prolific, and award-winning cheesemakers in the world.

So, when you're building your gourmet cheese platter, as long as your cheese has a Proudly Wisconsin Cheese badge on the label, you know you're in good hands.

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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