An Intro to Serving Cheese

Try these helpful tips for handling cheese from the cheese professionals at Artisanal Premium Cheese:

  • Cheese needs to be brought to room temperature 65 to 75 degrees
  • If cheese has been stored for more than a day, remove wrapping and face with a knife
  • When possible have a different knife for each different cheese, or wipe the knife with a damp towel, after each cut
  • Cheeses should be cut from the center to the outer rind, in order to maximize surface usage.
  • Softer cheeses should be sliced lengthwise into wedges with a butter knife, or small pairing knife
  • Harder cheeses can be sliced with a chef knife or a microplane slicer that can be pulled across the flat surface of the cheese to obtain paper-thin slices
  • Soft runny cheeses may be spooned into small containers
  • Cheese wires can effectively be used to cut cheeses in a high volume restaurant or cheese shop

Creating a Cheese Plate

  • An eclectic mixture of milks and ripening processes are needed when assembling a cheese plate, while paying attention to colors and textures
  • Cheeses should be placed in plates with a light color to best showcase them
  • The tasting should be arranged from milder to stronger, beginning usually with the creamier, milder ones, followed by the washed rind, harder cheeses and always ending with a blue
  • If plated, the mildest cheese would be placed at the 6 o’clock position, placing them in a clockwise manner on the plate
  • Cheeses can also be displayed on marble slabs, wooden boards and serving trays

What Goes Well With Cheese?

  • Breads, crackers, breadsticks
  • Fruits, like apples, pears, and figs
  • Mostardas, chutnies, and preserves
  • Cured meats, olives, and tapenades

Storing Cheese

  • Cheese needs to be stored at around 50 to 55 degrees
  • High humidity environment (vegetable compartment) is ideal
  • Softer cheeses do not keep as long (buy less more often)
  • Harder, more aged cheeses can be kept almost indefinitely
  • Cheese cloth, parchment paper, wax paper are ideal to wrap cheeses