party tray
Photo: Ngoc Minh Ngo
Bread/Crackers: Not every cheese needs to be served with bread or crackers, but they're good for getting unwieldy soft cheeses to the mouth or as accompaniments for very sharp cheeses. Owner Brian Keyser's favorites: raisin-nut bread, baguettes, and rye, rice, or sesame crackers. A simple crusty white bread, such as a baguette, is best for pâtés; many salamis and sausages can be eaten without a starch.

Vegetables: Casellula uses roasted cipollini onions because they have a rich taste and look great, but grilled or roasted slices of any type of onion will work. Spicy red pepper jelly is a hostess classic for a reason—its sweet and spicy combination pairs beautifully with smooth, rich cheeses and meats.

Charcuterie: Try a salami, a pâté, and a cured pork like serrano ham or prosciutto.

Chutneys: Thick, fruity chutneys are favorites with both meat and cheese.

Spreads: Whole grain mustards add a nice bite, while smooth purees provide a complementary note.

Unexpected Treats: Coconut macaroons balance the saltiness of cheese, while potato chips make excellent serving scoops for pâté.

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