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Create the perfect cheese platter for your parties

    (NC) A great-looking cheese plate is always a crowd-pleaser – and the best part in a busy kitchen is that the platters are simple to prepare and won’t monopolize your oven. Follow these steps to surprise your holiday guests with some tempting cheese varieties and new taste experiences:

    1. Get creative with your platter. A serving plate is fine, but you might also use a wooden board, a slab of marble or a piece of slate.

    2. Choose a variety of cheeses including a soft-ripened cheese, or ‘bloomy rinds’ as they’re also known. Then, add a semi-soft cheese, like gouda or havarti. You’ll also need hard/firm cheeses like manchego or pecorino. And for a more tangy option add a goat’s milk cheese. Round out the spectrum of flavours with a washed rind cheese and a blue cheese.

    3. Elevate your cheese platter. To take your cheese platter to the next level, try serving something completely unique, like the PC black label Isle of Man Extra Mature Cheddar. This selection is made with locally sourced milk from the Isle of Man in the British Isles and is a full-flavoured cheese that is matured for at least 15 months. Once you’ve chosen the main features, enhance the platter with toppers, such as red pepper jelly, pesto, or sliced peaches.

    4. Get your quantities right. For a party platter, appetizer, or dessert cheese plate, serve a small crowd around three to five types of cheese, and five to 10 types for a larger crowd. Calculate for approximately 30 to 40 grams of each cheese, per person.

    5. Don’t forget the accompaniments. Fruits like figs, pears and grapes are always enjoyable, but dried fruits work well too. Add unsalted roasted nuts and fresh bread and complete your platter with honey, fruit compotes and pickled vegetables.

    More holiday entertaining tips can be found online at

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