Now that the holidays are approaching, and we can see a few of our friends, I thought I'd talk about my favourite way to build a nice cheese platter. I tend towards the theory that 'less is more' for cheese selections as in less selection, slightly larger pieces, and one nice accompaniment.
Now that the holidays are approaching, and we can see a few of our friends, I thought I'd talk about my favourite way to build a nice cheese platter.
I tend towards the theory that 'less is more' for cheese selections as in less selection, slightly larger pieces, and one nice accompaniment. I find that this is a way to appreciate the flavours and textures of your cheese choices and not get your tastebuds muddied with too much going on.
I would usually find some focus for my cheese choices. For example, maybe you have an Italian wine for your cheese course, so wouldn't it be fun to have all Italian cheeses? Perhaps you have a homemade chutney to go with your cheese plate, so the focus is whatever will pair well with your handiwork. The other way to look at it is to choose one amazing cheese first and then see what you can build around that.
I like having either two or three cheeses. One soft cheese and one hard cheese is sometimes just the perfect thing. Other times, I think having a blue might be nice as a third cheese or have one soft blue and one firm cheese.
If you want to go even simpler, buy a chunk of one fabulous cheese and leave it at that. A big wedge of Brie de Meaux with some crusty fruit bread and a fig jam, or a big chunk of Stilton with some toasted walnuts and you're set. Even some Reggiano from your cheese drawer drizzled with honey will work in a pinch.
Part of the trick is making it simple to put together and making it cohesive to enjoy. Never feel the need to make it more complicated than it needs to be. Please put it on a plate or a board, garnish it with whatever accompaniment you choose and pass it around. You're done! Now your friends can help themselves, and you can get back to drinking wine. Sharing food with your friends should be a pleasure, so you want to be at the table to enjoy their company.
This past year and a half have given us all a chance to see how much we should appreciate the small joys of seeing friends, going out to eat, travelling close to home, and just staying home, for that matter. So have a great holiday season and enjoy every minute you have, to celebrate over a nice bottle of wine and a good piece of cheese.
For wine pairing inspiration, check out these lists: