Serving your Cheese
The rule of thumb when serving cheese is that it should be taken out of the fridge up to an hour before serving.
For the best experience, here are a few further things to consider:
Cheese & Temperature
Soft cheeses shouldn’t be too warm – depending on the temperature in your home, general guidance would be 30 minutes out of the fridge, while harder and firm cheeses may benefit from a little longer, maybe 1 to 2 hours. In the cheese world, this is called “to chambré the cheese”.
An important note is that room temperature is not always what we consider it to be - central heating and sunny days can see room temperature rise in excess of 25⁰C and general advice on room temperature/serving temperature has mainly been based on around 18⁰ – 22⁰C. If you take your soft and hard cheeses out to chambré (bring up to room temperature) at the same time and the room temperature is very high, it might be that your soft cheese will simply melt, and your hard cheese will sweat.
Large Cheese Portions
Another important thing is that if you have a large amount of cheese and feel that you won’t eat it at this sitting – take out just what you think you’ll need.
Taking your cheese in and out of the fridge and changing its temperature repeatedly will deteriorate its quality.
In terms of presentation, a wooden board or slate makes a beautiful and practical way to serve the cheese. If you have a large board, it works great for multiple kinds of cheese, but if you have several kinds of cheese it may be a good idea to use a separate board or plate for each.
A sharp knife is essential and a separate knife for each cheese is best to avoid contamination and to minimise the mess when serving.