13 Things Every Dedicated Cheese Lover Should Know

Sharpen your skills for National Cheese Lover’s Day.

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.

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How to Make Cheese
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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.

Cheese plate with fruit and bread

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.

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Epic Meat and Cheese Spread
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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

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.

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Cheese Ball Bites
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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 basket filled with cheeses, breadsticks and jam

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.

Pretzels in Beer Dip and a Glass of Beer

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.

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Easy Grilled Cheese for a Crowd
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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).

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Baked Brie 3 Ways
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Nail Cheese Dip Every. Single. Time.

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

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!

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Add some new appetizers to your cheesy repertoire.

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Next Up

5 Delicious Ways to Use a Bottle of Red Wine

Take your bottle of pinot to the next level.

Homemade German Seeded Bread Recipe

Germany is known for dense, whole grain, multi-seeded bread called dreikernebrot. It’s a nutrition-packed dietary staple that can be found at every corner bakery and is a favorite of locals and tourists, alike. Now you can bring the hearty flavor home and make an authentic loaf in your kitchen using this recipe. Dreikernebrot is a tasty seeded loaf that will fortify you through the festive days of Oktoberfest and beyond.

Mini Black Forest Cake Recipe

This rich chocolate cake hails from the Black Forest region of Germany. It’s a layered confection soaked with Kirsch (cherry liqueur), and filled with whipped cream and Morello cherry preserves. Make several of this mini version to feed an Oktoberfest party crowd. Petite but with a tasty punch of rich chocolate and tart cherries, these mini mouthfuls are the perfect way to end an Oktoberfest feast.

Mini German Potato Pancakes Recipe

Oktoberfest wouldn’t be the same without golden kartoffelpuffer, otherwise known as German potato pancakes. We’ve miniaturized them for bite-sized finger food that's perfect for an Oktoberfest celebration. Serve the crispy mouthfuls with applesauce and sour cream for dipping.

Mini Apple Strudel Recipe

Nothing’s better than homemade apple strudel — unless it’s having one all to yourself. These individual strudels have a crunchy phyllo wrapper with a sweet interior of shredded apples, golden raisins and walnuts. Serve this classic German confection, aka apfelstrudel, as a sweet ending to your Oktoberfest celebration.

Ranch Water Cocktail Recipe

If you haven't heard of Ranch Water yet, prepare yourself because it's about to be everywhere. And, once you've tried it, it's easy to see why: Ranch Water is basically a not-sweet, super pared-down margarita ... with bubbles. Intrigued? Read on for the unbelievably easy recipe, plus our tips for setting up a Ranch Water serving station (on a bookshelf!).

Authentic German Mulled Wine Recipe

Traditional glühwein, which translates to 'glow wine' will make cheeks rosy and keep Oktoberfest and fall fun in full swing. Be sure to keep the recipe handy for winter months, too. This soul-warming sip will put a fire in your belly (and a glow in your cheeks) when temperatures plummet.

Easy Bavarian-Style Soft Pretzels

Soft, chewy pretzels are a frequent sight in German biergartens and the perfect salty companion to beer and (yum!) beer cheese. Up your Oktoberfest game this year and bake up a batch of these chewy munchables that are perfect for dipping. Learn how to make this fun, easy dish in just a few steps using readymade dough.

Arugula Salad With Homemade Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

Round out your springtime brunch with the ultimate light side: a garden-fresh, leafy green salad. Arugula and watercress are ideal for this healthy recipe as both are cool-weather crops harvested in spring, with a crisp, peppery flavor. Fresh orange slices, tart strawberries and sweet blueberries scattered on top harmonize well with the from-scratch orange-poppy seed vinaigrette. Sprinkle on blue cheese crumbles for a savory, creamy note.

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