Introducing: Our Number One Fall Snack

The season calls for fallcuterie (fall + get it).

September 25, 2020
Photo by Marissa Mullen

That Cheese Plate is a column by Marissa Mullen—cookbook author, photographer, and Food52's Resident Cheese Plater. With Marissa's expertise all things cheddar, comté, and crudité—plus tips for how to make it all look extra special, using stuff you probably have on hand—we'll be crafting our own cheesy masterpieces without a hitch.

The air is getting crisp and the days are getting shorter. Autumn is here and we’re ready for it. As Food52’s Resident Cheese Plater, I’m here to bring you some creative ways to up your Fallcuterie game (fall + charcuterie = fallcuterie)

I love everything about autumn: The foliage, pumpkin spice, apple picking, and hot cider all make for a perfect afternoon. When I create a cheese plate, I love to find inspiration through colors, scents, seasons, and feelings. Let’s capture this essence of fall and express it on a cheese plate!

Fallcuterie Tips

  • Play around with a warm color palette, using items with shades of yellow, red, orange and brown. Add some herbs for a green pop.
  • Start incorporating aged cheeses with more intense and interesting flavor profiles.
  • Tie in seasonal produce, like apples, figs, or pears.
  • Add a classic autumn snack like candied nuts, dried figs, or even apple cider donuts!
  • Make a homemade fig and almond cake like the one here.
  • Garnish with food grade dried flowers, dried citrus, and a mini pumpkin.

The Cheese

Photo by Marissa Mullen

With this plate I wanted to focus mainly on dried fruits, since many fresh fruits are heading out of season. So I naturally thought of Wensleydale with cranberries first and foremost. Wensleydale is a cow’s milk cheese from Upper Wensleydale, England. It’s a relatively young cheese aged for three weeks, and has a mild and slightly sweet flavor. The cranberries add a bit of tartness and a beautiful red color to the plate.

We always want a variety on our cheese plates, so I added in a contrasting cow’s milk Brie. This Brie in particular has notes of mushrooms, sautéed butter, and cream, offering a decadent and earthy bite.

Last, I added in a sharp cheddar colored with annatto for the rustic orange pop of color.

The Accoutrements

Photo by Marissa Mullen

To accompany the three cheeses, I added some seasonal produce, including slices of apple and fresh figs. Instead of meat on this plate (as "charcuterie" would normally imply), I created a dried apricot river for a fun orange focal point. Every Fallcuterie plate needs some autumnal spice, so I sprinkled in candied pecans and a homemade fig cake with cinnamon.

For the crackers, I went with some thick multigrain crackers to tie into the warm color scheme. And s for the dip, I added an apple and cranberry chutney, serving as a wonderful sweet contrast to the sharp cheddar, and a complement to the Wensleydale with cranberries.

Photo by Marissa Mullen
Photo by Marissa Mullen

The Garnish

What’s more autumnal than a mini pumpkin?! These cute gourds add a pop of color and really tie in the overall theme. Other fun garnishes include dried citrus, food-grade dried flowers, and fresh herbs.

The only thing left to do is curl up with your favorite hot apple cider and enjoy your autumnal creation!

What's your favorite fall cheese plate combination? Let us know in the comments.
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Marissa Mullen

Written by: Marissa Mullen

Marissa Mullen is a Brooklyn-based food stylist, recipe developer, photographer and cheese lover. She is the founder of That Cheese Plate and creator of the Cheese By Numbers method. She is also the author of the best-selling cookbook, That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life, a step-by-step styling guide for crafting beautiful and delicious cheese plates as a form of creative expression. Featured on The Today Show, The Rachael Ray Show, Business Insider, Vox among others, Marissa is dedicated to bringing people together through creativity, food and entertainment.


Nancy M. October 18, 2020
I’m happy to see some new dedicated subject people at Food52. Normally, I’m a big fan of these grazing boards and I’ve worked out the best ways of m keeping things looking good as they are consumed. But we are not in normal times, and I find it disappointing and tone deaf to be featuring this kind of presentation in times when we are absolutely NOT doing shared plates. Why not try some small or family oriented suggestions that fit current realities.
Linda October 15, 2020
Am I alone in loving the look of these grazing boards when they are first put out but hate the mess they quickly become?
And the food gets handled a lot, not always with utensils.
I'd much rather have these foods arranged separately on their own platters and boards.
Anita October 15, 2020
I agree...I don’t relish the idea of eating from a messy platter, either.
Corinne October 1, 2020
Love all the suggestions. Everything looks so beautiful together. September 26, 2020
Wonderful ideas. I liked it so much
HalfPint September 25, 2020
These grazing boards are so popular right now and rightly so. For fall, I would love a board with a sharp cheddar and a Stilton :)