As the unofficial kick off to the holiday season, Thanksgiving is a special and important holiday. While the holiday is all about being thoughtful and giving thanks to those we love, wouldn’t it be great to have a few to-dos that don’t require too much thinking?
Let Whole Foods Market take one thing off your metaphorical plate this holiday season! While the family is mingling in the living room prior to dinner, use the foolproof tips that are shared below and serve a perfectly crafted cheese plate that’s sure to please everyone. Pair it with a delicious wine to make your appetizer a real crowd pleaser. Whole Foods Market selected 10 premiere wines for the holiday season that won’t break the bank – all for under $20!
Now, to the good stuff, keep reading for the 3 tips.
Tip #1: Kick up the Contrast. Look for contrasts in the visual, textural and flavor experience.
- Visual contrasts — creamy white cheeses with vivid washed-rinds; for pairings, mix bright berries with darker charcuterie; and for breads and crackers, mix up larger baguette medallions with smaller crostini.
- Textural contrasts — offer firm and crumbly cheese options alongside soft, oozy varieties; combine fresh breads with crunchy water crackers; paired with chewy dried fruits with nuts.
- Flavor contrasts — tangy, fresh notes in a goat cheese balanced against mushroomy, earthy notes in a Camembert; salty, savory cheddars with smooth, mild Bries; umami charcuterie flavors with sweet dried fruits or tart fruit spreads. (*Specific cheese recommendations below.)
Tip #2: Don’t Overwhelm. Three to five different cheeses is plenty.
A smaller number of fantastic cheeses wins out over a plateful of so-so cheeses. Two different bread and cracker options is all you need. Add three pairing foods — choose from olives, nuts (walnuts, Marcona almonds, pistachios), marinated veggies, dried fruits, gherkins, fruit spreads, charcuterie — and you’re set!
Tip #3: Give it Time. Unwrap and arrange your cheeses at least an hour before serving.
This gives them time to breathe, helping them show off their wonderful aromatics and nuanced flavors. Slice a few pieces of each cheese so guests feel welcome to nibble right away. Prepare the pairing foods just before serving.