This piece originally appeared as Out To Pasteur on PureWow.

Is there any greater pleasure in this fleeting life than a perfectly paired cheese plate?

(That was not rhetorical. The correct answer is no.)

But for those of us who don’t know the difference between a crumbly Wigmore and a creamy Valançay, there’s good news: You can create a surprising and impressive tableau simply by pairing ordinary cheeses (Parmesan, Cheddar, Brie) with unexpected nuts and spreads (candied pecans, grainy mustard, sour-cherry jam).