A party just wouldn’t be a party without a beautifully arranged tray of cheese. Luckily, you don’t have to be a chef to put one together. Purchasing sliced cheese in the Deli makes it super simple. Here are some tips and tricks to get you started.
There are four elements that make a party tray distinctive:
1. The type of tray used – Any smooth, flat surface will work. It should match the style of the gathering as well as your personal preference. Wood, especially butcher block, is always a good choice. Silver trays add elegance. A slab of marble, slate or a piece of shiny plastic are all eye-catching options.
2. The selection of cheese – If you love good cheese, it can be easy to get carried away with the variety and choices, but it’s best to keep your selection simple and limited to three to five choices. When making your selection, balance light and dark colors, as well as mild and strong flavors. Plan about 3 to 4 ounces of cheese (and/or meat) per person. If you are serving a light meal or just appetizers, add meat or crackers to make the platter heartier.
3. The design or arrangement of products – The more attractive the tray, the more people want to dig into it. Use a variety of colors and textures that will complement each other. You can add interest by changing the shape or thickness of the products. Cut the slices of cheese in different directions to make shapes like triangles or squares. Stagger the slices to add dimension and make them easier to pick up. Remember it’s not mandatory that you cover the entire tray, only that the end result looks appealing.
4. The complementary garnishes – Garnishes should be edible, appealing to the eye and complement the flavors of the cheese. A combination of fruit like green grapes and red strawberries always works beautifully. Other options that make great fillers between the different cheeses are olives, dried fruit or nuts.