The beauty of making a Fruit and Cheese Platter is that you get to customize it with all of your favorite fruits and cheeses. I will share some of the most popular fruit and cheese combinations but the sky is the limit as to what you put on your cheese plate. I will break down how to make the BEST Fruit and Cheese Board.
ITEMS NEEDED TO MAKE A CHEESE BOARD:
- CHEESE BOARD.
- SMALL CHEESE KNIVES.
- HONEY JARS.
- An ASSORTMENT of CHEESES.
- An ASSORTMENT of FRUITS.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE MOST POPULAR CHEESES FOR A CHEESE TRAY:
- BRIE or CAMEMBERT. Brie always makes a beautiful statement as the centerpiece of a cheese board. Brie pairs well with apples, French bread, cherries, dates, figs, pistachios, and strawberries.
- PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO. The famous Italian cheese is known for its sharp, nutty flavor. It is beautifully sliced into wedges and served on the cheese board. It pairs well with figs, pears, dates, prosciutto, balsamic vinegar, walnuts, stone fruits, grapes, and honey.
- BURRATA or FRESH MOZZARELLA. Soft, creamy cheese which has a mild in flavor is always a popular choice. Mozzarella Cheese pairs well with olive oil, prosciutto, tomatoes, Italian cured meats, and olives.
- WHITE SHARP CHEDDAR. Creamy white cheddar pairs beautifully with apples, nuts, dates, honey, grapes, French bread, nuts, pears, and walnuts.
- MILD CHEDDAR. A universally appealing cheese as it pairs nicely with green apples, walnuts, pecans, pears, nuts, honey, grapes, and dates.
- PEPPER JACK CHEESE. This is all about flavor. The peppers added to a creamy Monterey jack cheese adds a nice amount of spice. This pairs well with crackers, apples, honey, and pears.
- HERBED or BERRY GOAT CHEESE. A soft cheese full of flavor. Goat cheese pairs well with French Bread, crackers, almonds, apricots, green apples, cherries, pears, figs, honey, grapes, dates, dried cranberries, olives, oranges, strawberries, walnuts.
- GRUYERE CHEESE. It is traditional semi-soft cheese. It pairs well with dark chocolate, apples, cherries, hazelnuts, and walnuts.
- GOUDA CHEESE. Famous in the Netherlands, it is a semi-hard cheese celebrated for its rich, unique flavor and smooth texture. Gouda pairs nicely with apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, and pears.
- GORGONZOLA. A creamy Italian Blue Cheese. People either love or despise bleu cheese so it may be the most polarizing cheese on the cheese board. Gorgonzola Blue Cheese pairs well with apples, honey, pears, almonds, figs, hazelnuts, and candied walnuts.
- MANCHEGO CHEESE. A firm, buttery cheese from Spain. Manchego pairs well with figs, crusty bread, fig spread, almonds, green olives, and prosciutto.
- ENGLISH FARMHOUSE or IRISH CHEDDAR. A semi-firm, fresh cheese with rich flavor. Pairs nicely with honey, apricots, dates, apples, grapes, and candied nuts.
WHAT FRUIT TO PUT ON A CHEESE BOARD:
- APPLES — Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Fuji or Gala. Apples pair with cheese perfectly so use an assortment of apples. The green granny smith is tart and crisp and pairs nicely with white cheddar cheese and a drizzle of honey. Thinly slice the apples.
- BERRIES — Raspberries, Strawberries, Blackberries all go beautifully with the cheese.
- GRAPES — Grapes give a nice natural sweetness and crunch to pair with the creaminess of the cheese. Use both green and red seedless grapes.
- PEARS — Pears are similar to apples as they are wonderful accompaniments to the cheese. Pears have such a mild flavor to the cheese can be the star.
- DRIED APRICOTS — Known for their sweetness. Buy them fresh to ensure softness.
- ORANGES — A burst of citrus is a nice accompaniment.
- DATES. Their nickname is nature’s candy because they are so sweet.
- FRESH or DRIED CHERRIES.
WHAT TO INCLUDE ON A FRUIT AND CHEESE BOARD:
- HONEY. This a must. A drizzle of honey adds that perfect sweetness to balance out the sharpness of the cheese. Place it in a small jar or bowl. If you want to really impress your guests, place honeycomb on your platter. We fell in love with honeycomb in Charleston, South Carolina at Savannah Bee Company. You can order it online HERE.
- DARK CHOCOLATE. A little bit of dark chocolate goes a long way. Chocolate pairs beautifully with the berries, apricots, and cheese.
- CRACKERS and BREAD. Set out an array of crackers and bread — crostinis, flatbread crackers, and thinly sliced crackers. Try to choose plain crackers as strongly flavored crackers can take over the flavor of the cheese.
- OLIVES. Not those canned black olives from the grocery store. If you are serving olives on a cheese platter, grab some from the deli.
- FIG JAM/SPREAD. This adds a nice amount of sweetness and pairs beautifully with fruit, bread, and cheese.
- CURED MEATS. Bring in some more savory elements with the additions of salami, prosciutto, and other Italian meats.
- PISTACHIOS, ALMONDS or WALNUTS.
- CANDIED NUTS.
TIPS FOR SERVING FRUIT AND CHEESE PLATTER:
- For optimal cheese flavor, bring to room temperature. The flavors are much more pronounced when cheese is a room temperature.
- Serve with small cheese knives and spoons. This makes it easy for your guests to spread creamy cheeses on their crackers or bread.
- Allow for at least 3 ounces of cheese per person, depending on their appetites. Serve an assortment of shapes, sizes, and types of cheese to give variety.