Holiday Cheese Platter Tips

photo by Saltspring Kitchen Co.

Festive Cheese Platters are the perfect way to entertain during the holidays. Below are some guidelines and suggestions we think you might find helpful.

How many cheeses?

When throwing a party we like to include three to five cheeses on our cheese platter. Three of them usually include a brie, cheddar and maybe a blue. Then we will throw in two or three fun cheeses like those festive British ones from Wensleydale.

Fruit – Meat – Nuts

For seasonal fruit we like pomegranates, persimmons, fresh figs, dried cranberries and cherries. Savoury Cakes like Panforte, honey, fresh prosciutto, salami, assorted nuts, olives and Marcona almonds are also fabulous.


photo by the Fine Cheese Co.

After you have chosen fruit, meat, nuts and the like it is time for the crackers. We have an amazing selection including those from the Fine Cheese Co.

Herbs for Garnish

Add some herbs to add beauty to your cheeseboard – try rosemary, basil or thyme sprigs. The aroma is also very pleasing.

Tip: Be sure to remove your cheese from the fridge at least one hour before serving. It’s important to bring your cheese to room temperature before serving.

We suggest from Herma’s…

Fig Balls

photo by Sergio

To serve, just slice the ball with a knife and let the figs fall where they may. The shape reminds us of a head of garlic cut crosswise. The figs are sticky, sweet and taste like an intense figgy jam. It smells fruity, sweet, smoky and earthy almost as if the leaves were tobacco.

Pairs beautifully with salty cheeses like Pecorino or Parmigiana.

Pistachios In Acacia Honey

Pistachios in Acacia Honey is harvested in Tuscany. Pure acacia honey is produced by artisan beekeepers spread throughout Tuscany’s most untouched countryside before being processed. Acacia honey has a delicate, sweet flavor, tasting faintly of vanilla and sugared almonds. This highly prized honey is enhanced with the addition of pistachios.

Dried Figs In Acacia Honey

Acacia honey has a delicate sweet flavor, tasting faintly of vanilla and sugared almonds. A clear liquid, light-colored honey that retains its shape for a long time. This beautiful honey is exquisite with addition of dried figs making it the perfect honey to pair with cheeses. We especially love honey drizzled over Parmigiana and  Pecorino.

Panforte – Arriving soon!!!

They haven’t arrived yet. When they do, we’ll be sure to let you know. Any one of our savoury cakes from Sienna would be a hit on your cheese platter.

We are particularly partial to the ones below…

Panforte ai Fichi e Noci (green package) is a cake with figs, walnuts and almonds. This savoury cake is the perfect addition to cheese platters or toasted in salads.

Panforte al Cioccolato (brown package) is a cake with candied fruit, almonds and chocolate. Try pairing with a blue cheese or Gruyere. It also complements coffee or tea perfectly and is irresistible with ice cream or a glass of sweet wine.

Baratti & Milano Marrons Glace (Candied Chestnuts)

These treats are candied chestnuts with a delicate sugary coating. Very festive, they remind us of the delicious, warm roasted chestnuts sold on the streets of Italy during wintertime. They would be a wonderful addition to your charcuterie board, alongside a cheese board or featured on a dessert table. Pairs well with young red wines and is also lovely with champagne.

Hand-Roasted Nut Mixes

Find nut mixtures that will surprise and delight your taste buds along with that of your guests.

We carry blanched, fried Marcona Almonds from Spain that we can’t praise enough. Find in our Cheese Shop.


We carry some exciting NEW Preserves, Chutneys and Jams from the likes of Thursday Cottage, Hawkshead Relish Company and KEW by Cherry House. All of them come from England and have won countless awards. We still carry all our traditional favourites as well including Mrs. Bridges, Origen, Three Angry Cats and others. Of course, one of our favourites is Salt Spring Kitchen Co. created in BC.

Saltspring Kitchen

Cranberry, Sour Cherry and Port (Brie, Camembert, Blue Cheese)

Hot Mango Spicy Pepper Spread (fresh Chèvre, Brie, Camembert, Gorgonzola)

Charcuterie Mustard (dry-cured meat, sharp hard cheeses)

Sparkling Apricot & Pink Peppercorn Fruit Spread (fresh Chèvre, Brie)


As always, be sure to check out our large selection of packaged salami, prosciutto and ham. And don’t be afraid to ask to have Janis, Margaret or Herma to slice Fennel Salami – Prosciutto – Prosciutto with Truffle the way you would like. They will be happy to perform this service for you.

Custom Cheese Platters

To have a cheese platter created for you and your guests call 905-885-9250 and ask for Janis, Margaret or Herma.