For my birthday, my husband gave me wonderful book about cheese. It is a terrific resource to learn about cheese, how to buy and taste as well as serve. Cut up cubes of cheese is a popular choice to serve at a party. However, the next time you have a social gathering consider serving a sampling of artisanal cheeses.
Here is a general guideline
- Always serve cheese at room temperature. Cheese that is too cold will loose aroma and flavor. Take the cheese out of the fridge at least one hour before serving.
- Have a separate knife for each cheese or at least one knife per hard cheeses, goat cheese, blue cheeses and soft cheeses.
- Keep blocks or wedges of cheese in tack and have the guest cut his own slice. This allows the cheese to have a fresh cut thus minimizing the loss of flavor and aroma
- Bread – is a useful palate cleanser when tasting several different cheese. Good options include: baguettes, whole wheat, plain focaccia, plain crackers.
- Fruit – provides a nice contrast to the salty taste of many cheeses. Great matches are apples, pears, grapes, melons and figs. Dried fruits such as apricots, mango chutneys and sweet relishes also pair well with cheese.
- Vegetables – lightly steamed or blanched carrots, celery, zucchini, red bell peppers, roasted peppers, and black olives.
- Meats – prosciutto, salami, chorizo, ham
- Nuts – almonds, cashews, hazelnuts pecan and walnuts.
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