Say Cheese! How to put together simple holiday spreads that dazzle

Say Cheese! How to put together simple holiday spreads that dazzle

If you are looking for an easy hostess gift or need a simple appetizer with a big wow factor, the Milk Means More Team recommends delicious cheese options that are available in the supermarket cheese counter.

Check out the handy suggestions below.

Tip #1: Choose the Cheese


You don’t have to purchase a lot of different varieties of cheese to make a good cheese board. Choose three to four types with different textures, colors and shapes.  I like to shop at a cheese shop or the cheese counter at the grocery store and ask the staff what they recommend.  Not only will they give suggestions, a tasting of their favorite is almost always offered!  So here are some guidelines that work for me. For more tips, check out our cheese pairing guide.

Soft/Semi-Soft/Fresh Cheeses

These cheeses, high in moisture and smooth on the palate, are ideal for spreading. They include Havarti, Feta, Boursin and Queso Fresco.


These cheeses have a bloomy, edible rind that ripens the cheese from the outside in. Be sure to bring these varieties to room temperature or warm in the oven before serving. They include Brie and Camembert.


These gorgeous cheeses feature blue-to-grey streaking and a distinctive taste. Stilton and Gorgonzola are examples of blue-veined cheeses.

Hard and Semi-Hard

Hard cheeses deliver a flavor intensity beyond compare and semi-hard cheeses have a firm texture and wide variety of flavors. Gouda, Cheddar, Swiss and Parmesan are all examples

Tip #2 Pick Your Pairings


While you could eat all these cheeses alone, most people like a vehicle of transportation for their cheese, such as a neutral-tasting cracker or sliced baguette. You can go even further by adding fresh or dried fruits (grapes, apple slices or dried apricots are great), crunchy nuts (pistachios, almonds walnuts) and dried or cured meats (salami, prosciutto, pepperoni).  A local honey is also perfect for a light drizzle on hard cheeses.

Remember to have enough cheese spreaders and knives for each of your cheeses!

Tip #3 Find the Best Board

The possibilities are nearly endless for the type of board to use for your cheeses. An option we like for an easy hostess gift is a fun chalkboard from a large craft store like Michael’s or JoAnn’s. You can write the name of the wrapped cheeses in chalk next to each cheese and, voila, your gift is done!

Check out other homemade holiday gift ideas or find recipes for holiday parties here.



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