Last week, we invited my friend Andrea and her husband to dinner. I’m not sure who told her that the quickest way to my heart is to bring me blue cheese and honeycomb…but it worked. Now, Andrea also happens to be a major foodie and professional pastry chef, so it’s no wonder she appreciates the awesomeness that is Bayley Hazen Blue. The combination of the nutty buttery cheese with sweet fresh honeycomb from Savannah Bee was the starting point for this perfect cheese plate that A & I enjoyed in front of the fire on Saturday night. I added wedges of sharp vermont cheddar and aged parmigiano reggiano, black pepper water crackers and marcona almonds (heaven!), poured glasses of sauvignon blanc and I’m telling you, it really doesn’t get better. Keep reading for more images and a few of my tips on creating the perfect cheese plate of your own…

The honeycomb that started it all…

The fantastic thing about a cheese plate is that the “perfect” combination varies based on seasonality and what happens to be in my fridge…the possibilities really are endless! A few rules of thumb:

  • Serve one to two ounces of cheese per person.
  • Let the cheese sit at room temp for an hour before serving – flavors are enhanced when the cheese isn’t cold.
  • Include a mix of fresh, aged, soft and hard cheeses.
  • Arrange—and sample—the cheeses starting with the freshest and lightest, ending with the ripest and most intense.
  • Talk to the people in the cheese department – see what their current faves are!
  • Try adding pears, dried cherries, walnuts and soft baguette to dress up up the plate and add a variety of flavors to complement the cheese.

AND, while I was working on this post, I asked for all of your best tips on Facebook & Twitter. Here are some of the amazing tips your fellow readers shared…and don’t forget to leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite cheese tray additions are!

“Cheese tasting essentials: almonds, olives, figs, honey comb, humbolt fog cheese, Brie and baguette.” – @caitlinflemming
“YUM! I like to pair soft sharp cheeses (blue brie- amazing) w fruit or preserves and nuttier cheeses with spicier spreads.” – @casielee
“I’ve been really into quince paste. it goes well with hard and soft cheeses…” – @kfleisher
“I love figs for fall.” – @coolkates
“Flags to label them! Fun lil DIY that can make it festive!” – @eventsbydecision
“Be sure to have other “complements”, i.e. wine, nuts, fruit/dried fruit, crackers of all sorts, to accentuate the flavors.” – @whitneyct
“Roaring 40s blue is one of my absolute faves.” – @lovelydetails
“…goat cheese with cracked black pepper and hints of honey. It goes so well on warm crunchy bread for breakfast, even!” – Kirbi
“Manchego! Always one of our favorites!” – Eleanor
“Research the cheese’s origin, type of milk, aging process and of course the wine to pair it with.” – Jerad
“Have three milks represented – cow, goat, and sheep.” – Emily
Bon appétit!

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