Entertaining guests calls for a variety of styles of providing refreshments. The cheese platter can fill a useful role and a welcome one, easily put together.
"Cheese is like the little black dress of entertaining, always in style and appropriate no matter what the occasion is," says Dana Tanyeri, director of national product communications for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
Here are some guidelines:
- If you are overwhelmed by the cheese selection in your local grocery or specialty foods store, don't be afraid to ask.
- To serve with your cheeses, choose accompaniments such as fresh or dried fruits, roasted nuts and crusty breads that complement but don't overpower the cheeses. The best fruit accompaniments for any kind of cheese, mild or intense, are pears, grapes, apples, peaches, plums and nectarines.
- Many wines, especially fruity, slightly sweet varieties, pair well with a wide range of cheeses. Beer also is an ideal accompaniment to many cheeses. So don't be afraid to offer your guests a variety of drinks.