The Art of Presentation and Accompaniments
Few foods can be served at so many different occasions as cheese. Whether it’s lunch, an aperitif or at the end of a good meal, cheese is always ready to satisfy the most voracious appetite while providing a unique gourmet experience.
The Presentation Platter
Whatever the occasion, cheese can be the main attraction if presented carefully. Sometimes it is enough to take particular care in choosing the plate or platter that will be used for the presentation. Play with the colours and textures: marble, wood, ceramic, earthenware… And don’t forget that when it pleases the eye, it pleases the mouth.
First cheese platter
Second cheese platter
And while we’re at it, why not combine both by accompanying your cheese with an assortment of breads, fruit and nuts? You can serve an entire variety of breads according to flavours and textures: baguette, rye bread, nut bread, crackers… Everything is allowed, provided that the taste of the bread doesn’t dominate the flavours of the cheese.
The lightest breads accompany mild or medium cheeses (Havarti, Brie From Here, Saint-Paulin From Here…). Those with a strong taste (rye, leaven) work well with stronger cheeses like extra-old Cheddar, Miranda and Ermite. Nut breads go well with all kinds of cheese.
For convenience, place cut pieces of hard cheeses on the edge of the plate. More crumbly cheeses should be in the middle, while soft cheeses are best served in the remaining space.
It is an excellent idea to accompany cheeses with fresh fruit like green or red grapes, apples or pears. However, it is important to avoid citrus fruits and other acidy fruits. As for dried fruits such as figs, plums and raisins, their taste goes very well with almost all kinds of cheese.
In short, the choice of accompaniments is limited only by your imagination. Remember to keep the presentation simple and serious so as not to steal the spotlight from the cheese!
The table below offers an outline of the quantities of cheese required according to the event.
Quantity per person
Accompaniment (buffet, conference, cocktails)
1 or 1.5 oz (28 or 42 g)
Cheese platter (after main meal)
2.5oz (70 g)
Cocktails before dinner or individual plates of 3 varieties of cheese (1 oz. or 28 g each)
3 oz (85 g)
Wine and cheese (without dinner)
5 oz (140 g)
A Presentation for Every Event
It is important to specify that the serving and presentation of cheese differ according to context. For example, cheese can be just an accompaniment for an aperitif. In this case, it’s enough to serve two or three kinds of cheese with crackers or crudités. “You can also serve pre-cut pieces at parties.”
It’s the same for a cheese plate at the end of the meal or as a snack; it is best to serve at least three different cheeses of varied textures and flavours. The possibilities are infinite. There is just one rule: choose at least one cheese from each category to create a pleasant contrast of colours, textures and flavours.
To ensure that the cheese is at its best, it is always preferable to take it out of the refrigerator about an hour before serving. However, it is easier to create your presentation if you slice up the cheese while it is still cold.
When storing cheese, carefully wrap each cheese separately by wrapping it first in wax paper, and then in a sheet of aluminum foil.
To facilitate the service, place hard cheeses at the edge of the plate and more crumbly cheeses in the middle. An important rule: keep the cheeses sufficiently spaced out to avoid mixing flavours.