The Art of Cheese Platter

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Part of my trip to Australia was about cinfully indulging in wine and cheese tasting adventures. When i came back, i was inspired to cook a hearty dinner for my family with a cheese platter as hors d’oeuvre, accompanied by a bottle of award winning red wine from the Cedar Creek Estate. You’ve read about the 2 main dishes, so here is a simple guide on How to Prepare a (Basic yet Complete) Cheese Platter:

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1. How Much Cheese

  • Before meal: 1 – 2 ounces of each cheese per person
  • After meal: 1 – 1.5 ounces of each cheese per person
  • As main: 3 – 4 ounces of cheeses in total per person

*1 ounce = approx. 28g

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2. Cheese Selection

Try to include a variety of textures and flavors. Most cheese belongs to one of four basic categories:

  • Firm – Emmental / Manchego
  • Soft – Camembert / Brie
  • Aged – Cheddar / Gouda
  • Blue – Danablu / Stilton

Your best bet will be to use one from each of the groups listed above. If you want to be more adventurous, try mixing a variety of the type of milk used - cow / goat / sheep. Just keep in mind to serve at least one familiar cheese. Take your guests on a ‘journey’ by arranging your cheeses from mild to sharp.

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3. Condiments:

  • Breads - sliced baguette / bread sticks / crackers
  • Jarred condiments & / or Fruits - chutneys / caramelized onions / grapes
  • Sweet & salty items - cured meats / (candied) nuts

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4. Serving Tips:

  • Don’t clutter the platter - give space to cut cheeses
  • Serve cheese at room temperature – take them out of the fridge at least one hour before serving
  • Prepare a separate knife for each cheese – because they come in different textures and sharpness; unless you want them to start tasting like each other
  • Label each cheese – so you won’t need to explain their names all evening like WikiCheese

Now you know how to prepare your own winning cheese platter the next time you have a party! Once you know the tricks, it is relatively easy to prepare. My platter turned out to become a fun conversation piece as my family and i had a great time together figuring out which cheese is our personal favorite. If you missed out my previous posts, below are the 2 (Spanish) dishes that i cooked and served along as mains:

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{Butifarra con setas – Catalan pork sausage with mushrooms}

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{Marmitako – traditional Basque stew of tuna, potatoes, pepper, and onions}

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{traditional Spanish dinner + the perfect Cheese platter + Seduction, sweet red wine from Australia + my untitled masterpiece from class Painting 101}

 

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