Menus & Entertaining

The ideal cheese plate

Author: Canadian Living

Menus & Entertaining

The ideal cheese plate

Create a cheese tray for a cocktail party or casual get-together. Or at a sit-down dinner, present a cheese plate after the main course before dessert or as dessert with a glass of sweet wine. Follow these tips.

&#8226 Serve at least three kinds of cheese, chosen from different categories.

&#8226 Vary types and strengths, and contrast colours and textures; for instance, a soft blue cheese (such as Borgonzola), a firm and drier aged provolone, and a semisoft, full-flavoured Oka Classique. Or combine a crumbly five-year-old Cheddar with a creamy Bleubry and a plain or flavoured fresh goat cheese. You could add even more contrast with a semisoft mild Fontina or, if you have access to a specialty shop, Le Migneron de Charlevoix and an aged goat's milk Pyramide.

&#8226 Some cheese plates can offer groups of one or two kinds; for example, Canadian blues with rich and creamy Le Ciel de Charlevoix, the drier and stronger Bleu Ermite or Bleu Bénédictin, and one of the mild soft blues, such as Borgonzola or Bleubry (serve this by itself or with a contrasting offering of goat cheeses).

&#8226 Always serve cheese at room temperature. Be sure to take it out of the refrigerator at least one hour before serving.

&#8226 Hard cheeses can share a knife, or supply a cheese plane. Supply separate knives for each soft and semisoft cheese.

&#8226 For appetizer or after-dinner cheese plates of three to six selections, plan on one to 1-1/2 oz (30 to 50 g) of each type per person.

&#8226 For cheese plates served at the table, prepare individual plates for your guests.

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Menus & Entertaining

The ideal cheese plate

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