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Perfect Cheese Plate
A cheese plate is the ace in the hole for the entertainer. It can be elegant, tasty and, in some instances, very beautiful. There are three common types of cheese plates: classic, simple and Merditerranean. Following are descriptions of each, with some tips to make them more successful. Buon appetite!
Fives cheeses of varying textures, tastes and milk types make a beautiful, classic cheese plate. For many, the classic cheese plate consists of goat cheese, Manchego or Gouda, Camambert or Brie, Cheddar and bleu.
But it does not end there. Some great accompaniments for the classic cheese plate could include almonds or pecans, dried apricots, crackets, honey, grapes, apples, olives and crusty bread.
Like wine with your cheese? Common pairings with the classic cheese plate include Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.
Tip: When feasting on your classic cheese plate, sample the cheeses from the mildest to the strongest in flavors.
A simple cheese plate is a pared-down version of the classic cheese plate, with only three types of cheese. The cheeses are selected by categeory of cheese, rather than specific type. For many, the simple cheese plate consists of one soft cheese (e.g., Brie or Camembert), one firm cheese (e.g., Cheddar or Asiago) and one blue-vein cheese (e.g., bleu, Roquefort or Gorgonzola).
Some great accompaniments for the the simple cheese plate could include crusty bread and grapes.
For a wine to accompany, many choose a Sauvignon Blanc.
Tip: Before feasting on your simple cheese plate, allow the cheese to come to room temperature. It will allow the flavors to truly come alive.
A Mediterranean cheese plate would focus on the country or geographical area where the types of cheese originated around the Mediterranean Sea. For example, focusing your cheese plate on Italy could make for a fun twist. An Italian cheese plate might feature Gorgonzola (soft), fresh mozzarella (semi-soft), smoked mozzarella (semi-soft), fontina (semi-hard) and Asiago or Permesan (both hard).
Some great accompaniments for the the Mediterranean cheese plate could include pears, fennel slices, honey, dates, almonds and/or ciabatta bread.
For wine, any good Italian wine would be great with an Italian-themed Mediterranean cheese plate.
Tip: Plan tone to two ounces of each cheese per person feasting on your cheese plate.
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noun. Slang. A person who has an ardent or refined interest in food; a gourmet.