6 Tips for Building the Perfect Cheese Platter

The Holidays can be stressful enough without the thought of studying to be cheese monger for every party. Let the Mill City Farmers Market help you build the perfect cheese platter full of delicious local farmstead cheeses!


  1. Pick a theme.

    Choose light appetizer cheeses like Singing Hills chevre or full-flavored rich dessert cheeses like an aged cheese from Cosmic Wheel or Prairie Hollow. Or select several different textures of sheep’s milk cheeses from Shepherd’s Way. Or several different types of cheeses in the same family from different farms to compare! Our choice: a variety of cheeses made from a combination of cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and sheep’s milk to get the true Minnesota Farmstead cheese experience!

  2. Buy the right amount.

    If you’re serving the cheese as a hors d’oeuvre, plan on 1 to 2 ounces of each cheese per person. If you’re serving the cheese as an after-dinner cheese course, figure 1 to 1 1/2 ounces of each cheese per person. Choose between 3 and 6 cheeses to give your guests enough selection and conversation!

  3. Don’t crowd the platter.

    Give each cheese enough room, so guests don’t have to worry about poking a pinky in the havarti! Consider separating pungent smelling cheeses from light delicate ones so the scents don’t combine.

  4. Add some extras!

    While many people don’t eat bread with cheese, it is nice to give hungry guests some extras on the plate for pairing and visual contrast. Add something sweet like French Nugget chocolate with Prairie Hollow sharp Cheddar cheese or tart artisan pickles from Martha’s Joy or Kiss My Cabbage. For a fresh pop of color add some fresh herbs, apples, jam or sliced radishes. A bread basket from one of MCFM’s bakeries or homemade crackers from Very Prairie are also a nice touch.

  5. Serve cheese at room temperature.

    Take your cheeses out of the refrigerator about an hour before you plan to serve them. Cheeses are enjoyed at room temperature have the best fragrance and taste!

  6. Talk to the farmers!

    The biggest and best advantage of buying local cheese at the Mill City Farmers Market is the ability to talk directly to the people who spend hours crafting your cheese from the animals they work with every day. Learn some colorful descriptions and unique traits about your cheeses so you can tell your guests why farmstead cheeses are so special!


Mill City Farmers Market Cheese Vendors:

Cows Prairie Hollow Farm

Jersey cows at Prairie Hollow Farm in Elgin, Minn.

Click here for more information about the Mill City Farmers Market indoor Winter Markets!


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