Creating A Holiday Cheese Plate (Slideshow)

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Create an eye-catching, artfully arranged, and tasty cheese plate

Fresh Cheese

Rindless, soft cheeses with wide appeal for their mild, mellow flavor and value. Dress them up with sweet or savory toppings. Try: Burrata with Pesto, Crème Fraiche with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

Surface Ripened

Soft cheeses with a white, velvety rind and buttery, mushroomy flavor. The interior can be firm to soft and oozing, depending on the age of the cheese. Crowd favorites for their rich and decadent texture. Try: Camembert, Triple Cream, Ripened Goat Cheese

Aged Cheese

Broad category of cheese which has been pressed into wheels or blocks and aged several weeks to years. Younger, softer cheeses often have a mild, milky flavor while harder, more aged varieties showcase complex, nutty, savory and even sweet flavors. These are easy to love cheeses because they provide familiar flavor clues. Try: Aged Gouda, Cheddar or Gruyere.

Washed Rind Cheese

Small category of cheese closely related to the Surface Ripened types. Regularly washed with a brine solution during aging, these cheeses develop a bold aroma and distinctive orange rind. Ideal for the more adventurous crowd, these cheeses are favorites among seasoned cheese connoisseurs. Try: Epoisses, Taleggio, Red Hawk

Blue Veined

Distinctive blue veins run through this style of cheese bringing a robust, spicy and earthy flavor profile. Best of class blues present a well balanced buttery, salty, savory flavor bomb that delights daring tasters. Look for:  Stilton, Roquefort, Gorgonzola