And you probably already have some in your fridge.

By Stacey Ballis
December 19, 2019

The cheese platter season is fully underway, and therefore I feel it is my moral duty to share with you the one thing you can do to win at the cheeseboard game. The one thing that all of you need desperately on or near your cheese boards is something you probably already have in your fridge: Butter.

Now, I don’t mean buttery cheeses, like butterkäse or a triple cream brie, although these are great. I mean actual butter. Unsalted, preferably European or European-style high butterfat butter, but honestly, whatever you have is fine. 

Why? It's French trick. You spread butter on a cracker to anchor the cheese to it.  The first time I saw it was when dining in Paris and after choosing my cheeses for my cheese course, the server then unceremoniously placed a large pat of butter alongside my selections. When I asked what it was for, he kindly explained that it was traditional to eat the butter with the cheeses. I then went to the home of a French pal who had a whole brick of butter set out with her cheeses on the actual cheese board, which I discovered when I mistook it for a soft gouda and placed an irreverently thick slab on a piece of bread and bit into it to discover it wasn’t cheese.

While you will almost never get butter alongside your bread during the meal when dining in France, you will often get it served with your cheese course. This is because, as it turns out, putting a schmear of unsalted butter betwixt your bread and your chosen cheese will make the cheese taste cheesier! No lie. You seriously amp up the cheese factor.

Don’t believe me? Try a side by side taste test at home. It works better with bread than with crackers, but I’m not here to tell you what sort of carbs to eat, just that the addition of butter between them and your cheese will be an improvement you are going to enjoy. It is especially a good sneaky way to bump up the flavor of lesser quality cheeses. 

But until it catches on? Be sure to point it out or label it for your guests and explain why it is there. You’ll look like a genius, and your company will be cheese-delirious and will be stealing the idea for their own use.

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