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How to Make the Perfect Cheese Plate (+ a Giveaway with Canadian Cheeses!)

Loblaws - Cheese Awards Giveaway

Anyone who knows my home life, knows that I really can’t cook anything worth bragging about. In fact, for my recent mother’s day card, Max said that his mother was “26 years old” and the thing that his mother cooks best is “macaroni and cheese.” (I love this kid. He also noted my love for napping and books. He totally “gets” me.)

And when you can’t cook, you get sneaky around other women who can totally cook beautiful things. Like, when you’re invited to a potluck party … I am the girl who always volunteers to bring a dessert (which I pick up from a nice bakery) or an appetizer (which is inevitably a cheese plate).

A cheese plate requires no oven action, no stove action, no fancy mixing of ingredients. It doesn’t stress me out at all. I simply use my creative inspiration to mix the textures and colours to make the whole thing look grand. A few varieties of cheese, some fancy cracker here, a little grape for colour there, and some nuts to sprinkle around as a final touch. Plus, use an interesting wood board or tray to display it all on. People seem to really enjoy them, since they disappear quickly. So this is my perfect little solution — to be “the cheese plate girl.” People can count on me. You know every party needs a cheese plate, right?

But then I received a list of Cheese Pairings from Loblaws. Huh. There are “rules” for creating the perfect cheese plate? I scoffed a little; I may have rolled my eyes. But then I did my duty as “cheese plate girl” and followed one of these combinations. (See the one in an orange frame below.)

Cheese pairings

I picked up two gorgeous looking Canadian cheeses, both washed rind. I already had a nice Chardonnay at home. A fresh baguette from the bakery. Plus, Gala red apples, Bartlett pears, and black berries.

Here is how it looked before we dove in:

 

cheese plate

What’s different than what I normally would have done? Well, there are no nuts or grapes, for one thing. But the big difference was the additional of black berries. Holy moly — Hubby and I just loved the extra taste the black berries brought to the cheese.

Most folks will agree that it’s hard to improve on a good cheese with fresh bread, but I tell ya, the fruit really makes it fabulous. So, I say, go forth and try out all of the pairings on the sheet pictured above! I know I will certainly do my best to work through them all this patio season.

But before you go … enter to WIN a giveaway ($50 value) that will include:

  • a selection of Canadian Champion and International cheeses
  • PC Black Label Artisan Crisps
  • PC Black Label Fruit Spreads, Jellies, and Preserves
  • Selection of nuts and dried fruit

To enter: leave a comment below letting me know either your favourite cheese or your favourite tip for making a perfect cheese plate.

I’ll pick a winner by random draw this time next week. Good luck! (Fine print: you need to live in Canada, you need to share your mailing address so the package can be shipped to you… I probably forgot something else that was important… we’ll sort that out later….)

Disclosure: this post is sponsored by Loblaws. They would love for you to shop at their deli section when picking up ingredients for your next perfect cheese plate. Their stores feature more than 300-400 varieties of cheese, including Canadian Cheese Award Champion and finalist cheeses. 

Edited on 2016/05/29 to add: I used a random number generator to determine a winner and Sunshine H was the lucky one! Thank you to all who entered and I really appreciated learning all of your secrets to the yummiest cheese plate!

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Comments

  1. Jeannie says:

    My favourite cheese is a triple creme brie, although I have to admit the alderwood smoked cheddar is a close second!

  2. Kelly D says:

    My favourite cheese right now is Oka. It changes based on the season!

  3. Sunshine H says:

    My fave cheeses are the smelly pungent ones like Blue Cheese or Roquefurt, but there are very few cheeses I don’t enjoy.

  4. meaghan says:

    So many favourite cheeses! I definitely need fruit and spicy mustard on my cheese plates/boards. Sometimes I pick up some meat as well, last time it was wild boar with cranberry (a pate of sorts) and it really took the cheese board to the next level.

  5. I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like? A perfect cheese plate needs to have green olives and pickled green beans. That makes a cheese plate heavenly.

  6. We’re such big cheese fans in my family! Swiss cheese is one of my favourite cheeses, which I love to pair with purple grapes. When it comes to picking the Swiss cheese, the more holes the better!

  7. CarolynK says:

    My absolute favourite cheese is Applewood Smoked Cheddar! My second favourite is a cheese you can only buy once a year. It is called Beemster Graskaas and is made from cows milk from the first spring grass of the year.

  8. Krista M says:

    My family’s favorite is Creamy Havarti, it is so rich and wonderful! Your cheese plate looks fun, I have never created one before but really should!

  9. Glogirl says:

    My favourite cheese would be havarti. I don’t have it very often so it is always a treat!

  10. Carol M says:

    I have so many favourite cheeses, it’s hard to pick just one, but I’m going with brie.

    And not really a cheese platter tip, but if you do make one, you will likely have leftovers. A great use is to shred them all up and make a cheese pizza. Some of the best pizzas I’ve ever had. Different each time.

    Thanks for the chance.

  11. My favourite cheese is Havarti probably because there are so many different variety out there and they are all so good. I have been told told to always include fruit or jelly with a cheese platter, like apple or grapes.

  12. I love all cheese! A simple thing I love is Boursin cheese with a balsamic glaze drizzled on top!

  13. loucheryl says:

    I love cheese so much but I have to say that my favourite cheese is jalapeño havarti! :)

  14. ikkinlala says:

    My favourite cheese is gruyere, but I like most of the ones I’ve tried.

  15. I love aged cheddar. And my fave tip: Always keep cheese on hand 😉

  16. There’s a wonderful out of Quebec called Louis d’Or that I can’t get enough of: http://www.tasteofcheese.ca/cheese-dictionary/louis-dor/

    It has a lovely nutty flavor; not a typical taste, so might not be to everyone’s liking, but it’s worth checking out and trying.

    (Oh, and a great cheese board tip: color! If at all possible, get some color on the board with fruits, nuts, etc. It makes the board really come alive.)

  17. Your spread looks delish. My cheese tray advice is have options for everyone… A couple different types of bread or cracker, soft and hard cheese and a few fruits. And of course wine 😉

  18. i am loving goat cheese these days. when I see something on a restaurant menu includes goat cheese, I order it. I love it sprinkled on salads too :)

  19. Melissa Nielsen says:

    I LOVE cheese! my current favorite would have to be a nice smoked cheader but really I love them all!

  20. Oooh, I love that pairing cheat sheet from Loblaws. Jay and I are always getting into the cheese display to try something new, and while have our favourite staple pairings it can be hit/miss sometimes depending on the cheese. My fave is a type of cheddar brick, mixed with caramelized onion. I think the only farm in Ontario that makes it is Pine River, so its truly hard to find in Toronto. Our cheese “plate” always comes with a small dipping bowl of Kraft Fig salad dressing to dip the bread and cheeses with, YUM!

  21. This is a handy little guide for when you have a little get together. I love that you can find a list of all the pairings that go best with certain cheese. I would have never known.

  22. I just love having cheese for snacks or when I have guests over. This sounds like a great cheese plate

  23. My MIL loves cheese platters! Sadly I’m clueless when it comes to preparing them! THanks to this post, I’m going to surprise her next visit!! I can’t wait!!

  24. I had to laugh at your description of yourself as a non-cook. I am the SAME way! 😉 I do like to bake & make desserts, so that’s my salvation for potlucks! That list of cheese pairings is genious! I could follow that but I wouldn’t know what to do on my own! 😉

  25. Okay I am so very hungry now. Also I want to have a picnic in the middle of the work day. LOL. I am an equal opportunity cheese lover actually. I love Boursin that the others are mentioning too. Havant and Swiss and various artisan flavours make me happy. But I also like cheddar on its own. I had no idea that Loblaws had such a thing actually. I am totally into this. I will pin your first and then go look for the cheat sheet in Loblaws Fanshawe Road.

  26. When can I come to visit you? Wow, everything looks so good! I love having cheese, fruits and bread when I have people over. My favourite cheese is blue, a very old yummy one.

  27. Brenda Penton says:

    My favourite cheese is smoked gouda

  28. Triple cream brie, harvarti – basically any cheese except blue cheese. I used to work at Pan Chancho in Kingston and we got to try all of the cheeses, olives, and food offerings, so we could describe to customers the flavours and how they worked together.

  29. My faves: aged white balderson w pear or apple (especially tasty combined as grilled cheese on crusty white bread), Smoked Gouda, Asiago.
    My family’s fave: cheese in a can on ritz crackers lol
    Thanks for posting that awesome Loblaws chart, cheese-tray-girl!

  30. Nice Article, Yummy

  31. nice post julie especially when it comes to talk about cheese…….

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