Say Cheese!

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.

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