Cheese and fruit platters are served at parties or events to give guests an assortment of foods to enjoy. When arranged properly, the fruits and cheeses create an elegant appetizer. Selecting a wide variety of fruit and cheeses lets your guests experiment with the options available. Creating a homemade tray gives you more creative freedom then simply purchasing one at the store. Adding small personal touches will make the tray appealing to your guests.
Locate a large cheese board or platter that will hold the cheese and fruit. Avoid crowding the food because it will look more like a pile instead of an arrangement.
Cut an assortment of cheeses for the arrangement. Plan 2 to 3 oz. of cheese for each guest. Include at least three options that include a hard cheese, soft cheese and pungent cheese to give your guests plenty of options.
Serve soft cheeses as a wedge with a knife, serve hard cheeses in slices or cubes and serve semi-soft cheeses in cut blocks or chunks with a knife. Arrange the square cheese slices in rows or place chunks together in small piles. Place the cheese slices or blocks on the board with the cut side facing toward the guests. Fill in the spaces between with fruit.
Add seasonal fruit to the cheese board for color and interest. Plan to include a fruit for each type of cheese you serve. A large bunch of grapes on the center of the board will add height, while colorful pineapples and cantaloupe can brighten the arrangement.
Add an assortment of nuts, crackers and bread in the empty spaces. If you do not have any extra room, create another platter next to the cheese and fruit tray. Add greenery such as lettuce, parsley and other fresh herbs for even more color.
Place extra cheese on a separate platter in the refrigerator and refill the platter as the cheese diminishes. Soft cheeses include Brie, Camembert and goat cheese.
Hard cheeses include Cheddar, aged Gouda, Parmesan and Gruyere.
Semi-soft or pungent cheeses include bleu, haloumi or Gorgonzola.
Place utensils next to the cheeseboard such as cheese knives, cheese forks and tongs.
Fruits like apples and pears will brown quickly and might make the arrangement appear unattractive. Sprinkle lemon juice over these fruits to prevent them from browning.
Separate strong pungent cheeses from the mild cheeses to avoid affecting the flavor.
Cut the fruit and cheese on the day that you plan to serve them to ensure that the food remains fresh.