If you are a cheese snob, nothing could make you happier than finding a beautifully set cheese plate at a house party. Cheese plattersare a big party-pleaser, and there are a ton of reasons why you should serve it the next time you invite your friends or family for a get-together: it is a great appetizer; it is easy to prepare, and nobody can say no to cheese!
The appeal of a cheese plate lies as much in its appearance as it does in its taste. While you can cut your cheese in cubes, fold it in fun shapes or even place some dips on the edges to add visual appeal to your cheese plate, there is nothing that does the charm of elevating it to restaurant quality than an elegant board or platter.
You can stick to the basics and display your cheese delight on a classic wood board but if you want to add a real wow factor to your dining table, serve it on a stone platter. So what exactly is a stone cheese platter?
What is a Stone Platter or Board, and Why Should You Choose It?
Just like any other piece of tableware, a cheese platter or board must also be both aesthetically pleasing and functional. Stone platters meet both criteria. A stone cheese platter will not only add visual appeal to your starter but also preserve its taste and flavor.
Stone boards can be made of different materials, giving you a wide variety of options to choose from: granite, marble, and natural stone. All three materials have somewhat similar properties and make excellent choices for presentation boards, so which one you select depends entirely on your taste and style. Below we discuss some of the features and benefits of using a stone cheese platter or board:
High Thermal Mass
If you eat cheese regularly, you would know that the first and foremost rule of serving cheese is that it must always be at room temperature. Plating cheese at a higher or lower temperature will ruin both its taste and texture. Therefore, you should take the cheese out of the fridge and let it rest for at least half an hour before serving it. However, if you are serving soft cheeses like cream cheese or have set the table outside on a hot, sunny day, you’ll have to make sure that the cheese does not lose its texture and melt. For this purpose, you need a material that has a high thermal mass.
Stone platters are best for this purpose due to their thermodynamic properties. Marble and granite are both dense materials, with a cool to touch surface that can absorb heat much faster than glass or wood. They will take away the heat from the cheese and keep it cool for long hours throughout the party. If it’s an extra hot day, you can place the stone board in an ice bath or into the freezer for a while before plating as a precautionary measure. This measure will help the board retain heat even better. However, make sure the board is not too cold, or you will not be able to relish its full range of flavor. By serving your cheese selection on a stone platter, you can enjoy the party without having to worry about it melting.
Better Resistance to Bacteria
A good cheese board not only preserves the taste of your food but also keeps it clean. People often use cheese boards as cutting boards as well, which means that vegetables and meat are carved on it occasionally.
If you are using the same board for cutting and plating, you need to pay extra care to its maintenance. You have to ensure that you are not serving your cheese on a board housing hundreds of bacteria. Marble boards are the most hygienic choice in the market as they have a hard, non-porous surface. Fluids from vegetables and raw meat can get stuck in the layers of the board and give rise to the growth of disease-causing bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella. The impenetrable surface of marble prevents the fluids from sapping in and keeps the board free of any bacteria.
Ease of Maintenance
Marble or granite boards are super easy to clean. If you do not like to scrub your cheeseboard after a party, stone boards are the best choice for you. Take some soap on a cleaning cloth and use it to wash the surface of your board. Rinse with water afterward and set out to dry.
Unlike wood boards, stone boards do not warp when submerged in water. They also do not absorb foul odors easily. However, if not taken care of properly and cleaned regularly, they might start to emit foul smells.
Long-lasting and Durable
Both marble and granite are strong and hard stones; therefore, boards made out of these materials are more durable. If you want to invest in a platter that can be used for both cutting and plating purposes, and will last longer, there is no better choice than a stone cheese platter or board.
More and more companies are now recycling pieces of marble and granite from landfills and using them to make cheese boards. By buying a stone cheese platter, you can keep both your pocket and the environment green.
The Recipe to a Perfect Stone Cheese Platter
When it comes to preparing a fun stone cheese plate, there is no specific handbook you need to follow; in fact, this is the time to let your creative side shine. Consider your stone cheese platter blank canvas and yourself a Picasso.
There is an array of cheese of different flavors, consistencies, textures, and animal sources you can pick. Instead of adding the same cheese that you eat, play with new and exciting varieties. It is necessary to assemble a cheese assortment that can be savored by all palates. So, make sure to create a balance in your selection: include both hard and soft, and mild and sharp varieties.
Your delicious cheese assortment alone won’t do the magic; you need to serve it with equally delicious accouterments. You can throw in some charcuterie meats, breadcrumbs, nuts, seasonal fruits, and greens to add color and vibrancy to your platter.
Stone cheese platters or boards are a great tool to enrich the look of your table. Since they are carved from natural stone, each cheeseboard piece has its characteristic pattern and color. Serving your hors d’oeuvres on such a cheeseboard will give it depth and meaning.
Display your delectable appetizer on stone cheese platters and enhance the appeal of your diner. Now you can enjoy delicious food with style.