13 Things Every Dedicated Cheese Lover Should Know

Sharpen your skills for National Cheese Lover’s Day.

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Are you a dedicated cheese lover? You think so, right? But — what if you’re actually not? Gasp! After years of maintaining two refrigerator drawers OF my ever-growing collection of cheese, I had to learn the hard way that I was actually not all that dedicated. Sure, my devoted love was there, but my knowledge was lacking. That’s why today, I’m a proud advocate of cheese education. Just kidding. But really, learn some cheese skills, you turophile, you.

How to Make It

I mean, what if you get snowed in? Your cheese will obviously be gone in a matter of hours, so hone in on those pioneer skills now.

Assemble the Perfect Cheese Plate

Every true cheese whiz knows how to create a fabulous cheese plate for guests. Don’t let your party people down.

How to Set Up a Cheese Plate

How to Set Up a Cheese Plate

Once all condiments, pairings and cheeses have been removed from their packaging and properly prepared for presentation, arrange them all together on an elevated vessel above the crackers, bread and condiments. This will allow the variety of cheeses to stand out as a culinary feature and provide easy access for guests. Serving Tips: Set out a separate knife for each type of cheese. Label each cheese with suggested accompaniments. Keep more pungent cheeses on a separate plate so they don't overpower the other cheeses. Take cheeses out of the refrigerator at least one hour before serving; they'll be more flavorful and easier to slice.

Photo by: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

Create an Epic Meat + Cheese Spread

If you’re hosting a crowd, you should know how to add some serious meat to the mix. Make it epic with our foolproof tips.

Make Your Own Cheese Board

While you’re getting creative, you might as well make your own cheese board, too. (No art skills necessary!)

Bake a Cheese Straw

Master this crunchy crowd-pleaser for once and for all. Your friends will thank you.

Delicious Cheese Straw Appetizer

Delicious Cheese Straw Appetizer

A quick and easy appetizer of cheese straws can be creatively stacked for a charming display.

Make Homemade Pimento Cheese

Learning how to make this Southern staple will give you major street cred in the cheese department. The store-bought kind doesn’t even compare, I promise.

Pimento Cheese Fritters from Blackberry Farm

Pimento Cheese Fritters from Blackberry Farm

Photo by: Photo courtesy of Blackberry Farm and Beall + Thomas Photography

Make Killer Cheese Ball Bites

The only thing better than a succulent, savory cheese ball? Mini succulent, savory cheese balls with pretzel sticks for good measure.

DIY Your Own Cheese Wheel Wrappers

Giving the ultimate gift of love to another cheese enthusiast? Learn how to fancy it up with an easy-to-make cheese wheel wrapper.

Cheese Gift Basket

Cheese Gift Basket

Gift the cheese connoisseur in your life with a slate or marble cheese board and a collection of nibbles such as meats, cheeses and cheese markers, olives, jams or spreads and fresh rosemary sprigs presented in an old vintage wooden cheese box

Photo by: Alexandra Frumberg, ALX Creatives

Alexandra Frumberg, ALX Creatives

Make the Best-Ever Beer Cheese

If you’re a cheese fanatic and a beer drinker, this one’s a no-brainer. Even if you don’t drink beer, this to-die-for dip is still worth a try.

Beer Cheese Dip

Beer Cheese Dip

Have a couple of savory options available at your Halloween party. Serve pretzels along with beer cheese dip to keep adults at the party happy.

Make Grilled Cheeses for a Crowd

I won’t insult your cheese intelligence by instructing you on how to make a grilled cheese for yourself — I trust you know how to do that properly. Something I will instruct you on? The big-batch grilled cheese. Watch and learn, cheese fiends.

Bake Brie Properly

I must confess — I failed miserably at this in my novice cheese days. I beg you; don’t serve bad brie (that is, a strange brie concoction you cooked up yourself).

Nail Cheese Dip Every. Single. Time.

Do I even need to explain why this is a necessary skill?

Bob's Cheese Dip

Bob's Cheese Dip

From Bob Cook | [Edmund's Oast](http://edmundsoast.com/) | Charleston, South Carolina This simple formula can be a base for just about any mix-in you can imagine. The chef recommends green onions, peppers, taco seasoning, or even diced bacon or ham. A splash of savory fish sauce adds some depth without imparting a fishy flavor. **[Get the recipe](http://www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/entertaining/deliciously-simple-cheese-dip-recipe)**.

Photo by: Margaret Houston

Margaret Houston

Impress the In-Laws With Cheese Fondue

I’m just saying, cheese fondue looks super-swanky if you serve it in a pretty pot with fancy dippers.

Delicious Cheese Fondue

Delicious Cheese Fondue

Cheese fondue is a quick and easy appetizer, great for parties and celebrations.

5 Wintry Appetizers With One Thing in Common — Cheese!

See All Photos

Add some new appetizers to your cheesy repertoire.

More Cheese, Please!

Everybody loves cheese! We've taken cheese to new heights with five quick and delicious appetizer that are perfect for any gathering this holiday season.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Brie and Sun-Dried Tomato-Stuffed Mushrooms

Hollow out portabella mushroom caps and stuff with creamy chunks of brie cheese. Pop them in the oven for 5-10 minutes. Top each stuffed mushroom with a slice of sun-dried tomato and thyme.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Brie and Sun-Dried Tomato-Stuffed Mushrooms

When guests arrive, watch as these savory bites all disappear. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

No-Bake Gorgonzola Cheese Balls

Combine gorgonzola, cream cheese, chopped rosemary and a splash of white wine. Add in walnut pieces and salt and pepper for texture. Refrigerate, then form into balls. Garnish with rosemary.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

No-Bake Gorgonzola Cheese Balls

This make-ahead appetizer is quick, easy and delicious. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites

Top a cracker with cranberry chutney, a slice of brie cheese and a sugared cranberry.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites

Relish in the combination of savory and sweet with this beautiful appetizer that layers cranberries, brie and cranberry chutney on a salty cracker. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Mozzarella and Artichoke Wonton Bites

Fill baked wonton shells with a mixture of parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, mozzarella cheese and artichoke hearts. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Parmesan Spinach Balls

To create these yummy spinach balls, combine spinach and eggs with onion, garlic, stuffing, parmesan and butter. Mix and roll together into a ball. Chill and then bake for 15-20 minutes. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

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Cheese Straws

No party is complete without the classic cheese straw. A tasty combination of butter and cheese gets an added kick with cayenne pepper, making them a crowd-pleasing appetizer or snack.

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Serve these pretzels with your favorite beer at your next casual gathering.

Halloween Party Food: Spooky Goat Cheese Fingers

Cheese and crackers take a spooky turn when goat cheese is fashioned to resemble fingers with sliced almonds as fingernails. Pair with whole-wheat crackers and flatbreads for a flavor combo that's sure to appeal to guests of all ages.

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Hollow out red grapes and stuff with goat cheese for the perfect bite-sized snack at your next gathering.

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