Dos and Dont’s for Serving and Eating Cheese [Infographic]

From greasy pizza slices to fancy charcuterie plates, many of life’s most pleasurable eating experiences involve cheese. The versatile ingredient can serve as a comfort food in griddled sandwiches or spread on toasted bread and topped with the finest ingredients at high-end restaurants.

No matter how you slice it, cheese is an almost ubiquitous item on menus around the country. And while there’s certainly no wrong way to eat cheese, there are some best practices to ensure you’re getting the most out of your cheese-eating experiences.

To up your cheese game, read on for some simple tips on how to serve like a pro.

Dont: Discount a whole category after one bad experience, Call all soft cheeses “brie," Serve your cheese too cold, Provide just one cheese knife, Pair cheese with only red wine, Limit yourself to hard cow’s cheese only, Go with the classic boring pairings. Do: Keep an open mind and try different cheeses in all styles, Learn the names of your favorite cheeses (or refer to them as brie-style cheeses), Leave cheese out on the counter for an hour before serving for optimal flavor and nuance, Provide a different serving knife for each cheese on the charcuterie board, Provide white wine (or beer!). These tend to pair better with the saltiness of cheese, Vary your cheeses by texture and milk type, Put the grapes and baguette aside and play around with interesting flavors, Eat your soft cheese rinds, and use hard cheese rinds for your next pot of soup.