A whole counter full of exotic cheeses, all with different colours, textures, flavours and aromas can be quite dazzling! You might want to get your hands on a bit of everything. However, it is important to know how different cheeses pair together. Some may be sharp while some might be subtle and delicate. So how do you choose the perfect combination of cheeses?
The most convenient way of selecting cheeses for a platter is to go with a theme. This helps one to dish out an assortment much faster considering the selection is then from dozens and not from the hundreds that are available at Godrej Nature’s Basket.all this month, we at Nature's Basket are having a "World Cheese Fest" where they will be sourcing cheese from all over the world. This gives you all the more reason to get yourself acquainted with the delights of some yummy cheese slices.
So what exactly must one consider while buying cheese? The Country of origin, milk type, texture, producer, cheese type, rind, matching a wine you are serving – all of these are potential themes for a plate. While this is an easier path, not having a theme also works. Picking one cheese each from the category of milk types –sheep, goat, cow – can create a cheese plate with textural, flavor, and visual treat. Depending on the kind of cheese you select, you can pair it up with nuts and fruits.
Here are a few pointers to help you decide your cheese platter -
- Fresh goat and sheep cheeses (Feta, Chevre): figs, fresh peaches, plums.
- Double and triple creme (Brie, Camembert, Picolo): Try some dried fruit like apricots, cherries or cranberries.
- Blue cheeses (Stilton, Gorgonzola) : Most blue cheeses have a natural sweetness to them and go very well with honey and fruit jams such as membrillo, apple, or cherries. If using fresh fruit I would stick with stone fruit, grapes, green apples or figs. When using dried fruit your options are almost limitless. In particular we like dried apricots, cranberries and figs. They also pair well with caramelized walnuts or hazelnuts and toasted almonds.
- Cheddars : For fruit, apples. pears, apricots. Nuts are also nice (toasted or caramelized). Jams/compotes such as quince, apricot, fig, blueberry can be a great addition.
- Gouda: Apples and pears.
- Smoked cheeses(Smoked cheddar, smoked gouda) : Toasted hazelnuts, walnuts, pine nuts are nice.
- Firm cheeses (Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino, Grana Padano): Sharp flavours like pineapple with pepper, or anything with some sweetness and a little bite goes well.
That's all for now folks! Stay tuned for more notes on how to present and compose your cheese platter.