Say Cheese!

September 1, 2018

As published in Azalea Magazine Winter 2017.

Say Cheese!

Just the word makes us smile.

Cheese.  It is the perfect ingredient for entertaining. It can start
or end a meal as a flavorful appetizer or classic dessert. Best of
all, these people-pleasing platters can be easily put together. That’s
part of their attraction. Here are a few tips to building a cheese
board.

Choosing The Cheese.

•   Plan on serving three to five cheeses. Anything additional is
overwhelming to the palate. For each type of cheese, buy one ounce per
person.

•   Look for variety in taste, texture and appearance. Aim for serving
a hard cheese such as Manchego, a soft cheese like a Camembert, a blue
like Gorgonzola, and a pungent (stinky) cheese like Morbier.

Accompaniments.

•   Serve with mild flavored crackers or bread that will not detract
from the flavor of the cheeses.

•   Snip a bunch of grapes into small clusters for easy-to-grab
portions. Sliced apples, pears and figs also pair nicely.

•   In separate dishes, you might offer olives, pickled vegetables and
lightly roasted nuts.

•   To round out the food- a dried sausage makes a hearty snack.

Serving Suggestions.

•   Serve on a tray or platter large enough to keep cheeses from touching.

•   Remove the wrapping from the cheeses, but leave on the rinds.

•   Bring cheeses to room temperature for optimal flavor.

•   Serve each cheese with its own knife to avoid mixing flavors.

•   Identify the cheeses. Note each variety.

While creating a cheese platter is simple, following these tips will
ensure a winning cheese course every time.