A cheese plate is a universal thing, in the sense that this concept describes luxury stories with precious cheeses, and democratic hodgepodge, accompaniment for wine at friendly parties ...
Nevertheless, despite such extensibility of the term, there are certain rules for serving cheeses, the observance of which will help to make a cheese plate the highlight of any event.
cheeses as entrée and cheeses as dessert
If you follow the Mediterranean logic and serve cheese as a snack in front of the main course, then the cheese plate is served with savory tapenades, herbs and olives, if you serve cheese after the main course, then the plate is served with sweet accompaniment - jam, honey, figs, candied fruits and t . d.
Soft cheeses - mozzarella, homemade soft cheese (e.g. Adyghe), etc., are most often served as entrée, they can be sprinkled with olive oil and sprinkled with seasonings (basil, provence herbs, pepper mixture). For dessert (before dessert) a variety of cheeses with a strong character are usually served.
how many cheeses to serve: the rule “3-5-7”
In France, a country where the production and eating of cheeses is elevated to the cult, there is an unspoken rule of “3-5-7”: there should not be many different cheeses on the cheese plate, most often these are three different types, 5 for large companies, and 7 - for tasting events.
There is no logical and intelligible explanation of why the number of cheeses should be odd (as in many other issues related to French traditions).
It is generally accepted that less than three cheeses are not interesting, more than five are pointless, since the essence of the process is lost, because our receptors get tired and cease to perceive all the richness of taste. In the UK there is no such rule, and the most common option is 4 cheeses on one cheese plate.
How to choose cheeses: the difference between textures and tastes
Traditionally, a cheese plate is made from cheeses of different hardness and different types: for example, one hard cheese, long exposure, one soft cheese and one “blue” cheese (blue cheese). Or cheeses from different types of milk are combined - cow, goat and sheep. There is an important rule: there must be at least one cheese that is familiar in your latitudes (most often it is hard cheeses), which is understandable to most people sitting at the table.
Here are the possible combinations:
- hard cheeses and cheeses: gouda, cheddar, spanish manchego, french comte or beaufort, parmesan,
- soft cheeses: brie, camembert, goat soft cheeses,
- Blue cheeses: gorgonzola, stilton.
How to serve cheeses:
If you serve really good cheeses, each of which deserves special attention, then the best accompaniment for a cheese plate is good bread, especially for soft cheeses (it is better to choose wheat bread, with a relatively neutral taste, without spices). To emphasize the taste of hard cheeses, you can serve a cheese plate with honey, onion marmalade, walnuts, figs and raspberries, apple and pear slices.
Cheese serving rules:
Cheeses must be removed from the refrigerator at least an hour before serving, they must be at room temperature.
In the French and Italian tradition, cheeses are served in whole pieces, and guests cut and put slices of cheese on their plate on their own (each cheese should have a separate knife). In other countries, cheeses are often served already chopped (you can stick toothpicks in pieces to make it more convenient for guests to take cheese from a plate).
If you serve some particularly characteristic cheeses, then it is better to serve them on a separate plate so that they do not clog the taste of the "neighbors".
Much does not mean tasty - too many different cheeses on one plate levels the taste of each. It is better to choose 3-5 cheeses, of which at least one will be rare or interesting to taste.
Dessert cheeses are never sprinkled with spices and are not poured with jam, everything that is designed to emphasize their taste is served nearby in a separate bowl.
To add intrigue, stick a small flag in each cheese with its name and place of origin - so a cheese plate from an ordinary dish will turn into a gastronomic adventure.
photo courtesy: abeautifulmess.com
photo courtesy: abeautifulmess.com
photo courtesy: abeautifulmess.com
10 rules for the formation of a cheese plate
2. A cheese plate is usually prepared in advance, wrapped in cling film and hidden in a refrigerator. Before serving, the film is, of course, removed, the cheese is left on the table at room temperature - it is believed that the cheese flavor and bouquet are best opened if the plate stands for about half an hour outside the refrigerator.
After the refrigerator, hold the cheeses for half an hour at room temperature and only then proceed to the design of the plate.
3. A cheese board is formed from five or more varieties of cheese. More - you can, less - is no longer a plate, but simply cheese pieces, even beautiful ones. However, moderation should be observed in the question of “more”: if there are too many cheeses, you simply will not be able to arrange them on the board beautifully, neatly and freely.
4. When laying out cheeses on a board, it should be remembered that these are rather delicate and delicate products that easily absorb extraneous tastes and aromas, including cheese ones. It is for this reason that care should be taken to ensure that different varieties do not come into contact with each other.
5. Following the unspoken rule, the cheeses on the board (plate) are laid out in a circle, starting from the most tender and soft and gradually moving to sharper and harder. At the very end of the conditional cheese "dial" are the most saturated and vibrant varieties. At the same time, questions of aesthetics should remain in the first, priority place: decomposing cheeses so that it is both beautiful and correct is a great art.
6. An alternative way of cheese layout is allowed: hard cheeses are placed on the edges of the board, softer cheeses are placed near, closer to the center, and so, gradually reducing the taste saturation, all prepared varieties are laid out, placing the most delicate and delicate cheese in the center of the plate.
7. As a rule, round cheeses are cut into segments, all the rest - into cubes, cubes. This is done so that every gourmet can enjoy the middle part, and the one closer to the crust, and the crust itself - after all, it is known that the taste in each of these pieces is completely different, and it’s definitely worth tasting, tasting and understanding it all places.
8. Hard cheese is best served on wooden plates - so they look completely harmonious and even slightly careless and brutal. You can lose your head! Soft varieties are usually served on porcelain or glassware, which, if desired, put on a wooden board and beat as part of the composition.
9. It is allowed to serve individual varieties of cheese without preliminary cutting - in this embodiment, the board should be accompanied by a sufficient number of knives, one for each individual variety. If neatly sliced pieces are laid out on a plate, it is advisable to serve wooden sticks.
10. The issue of cheese “accompaniment” should be given no less attention: firstly, it is these additional products that help to shape the plate so that the pleasure of admiring is no less than the satisfaction of tasting, and secondly, all types of cheese require different accompaniments, and, by the way, as a rule, this moment depends on the personal taste of each specific person.
It is believed that grapes and nuts are best suited to soft blue cheeses, and hard and saturated ones require dates, dried apricots, raisins, avocados, however, there are no strict rules, therefore it is worthwhile to approach the task of choosing refreshments accompanying cheese quite seriously.
Grapes, dried fruits, nuts, crackers, olives, fresh fruits are the accompaniment to the slicing. With cheeses, a pear is amazingly combined. Not bad "sings" raisins. Almonds and cashews “behave” harmoniously. Jams and marmalades, including not sweet ones, “sound” amazingly. Sometimes it’s worth combining cheeses with honey. Be sure to try figs somehow, perhaps this combination will become your favorite.
They don’t offer bread, they don’t clog the taste of cheese, they give its spirit to completely “unfold its wings” and present itself from the most advantageous side. Balsamic vinegar is considered quite controversial, however, quite acceptable accompaniment of a cheese plate - in this matter it all depends on the individual taste of the forming board.
In addition, you can decorate a cheese plate with completely edible elements, which, however, are usually not eaten - greens, mint, coffee grains. Cheese goes well with arugula and other spicy salads.
To get curly cheese, use special knives with a blade with a “wave” - ordinary cubes and rhombuses with their help are especially attractive and presentable.
Another simple but effective way of delivering cheese is to cut out figures from thinly sliced slices using cookie cutouts. Classic hearts, romantic stars, non-standard fish, autumn leaves - in fact, to beat such a way of serving cheese is quite difficult, but the effort spent is more than paid off.
Obviously, it is better to buy cheese for plate formation not in supermarkets, but in small specialized stores - there they will advise what to choose, and will give a try, and guarantee the freshness and quality of the goods.
Buy cheeses in specialized shops - there you can try them.
Cheese plates are a great treat at the buffet. In addition, this is a great way to organize a theme party and spend a wonderful evening in the company of friends - tasting the cheese, drinking it with wine, eating fruit and nuts. Beautiful plates and sincere gatherings for you!
Tip # 2: Offer guests a large selection of cheeses
Make the composition of the cheese plate varied and memorable so that there is plenty to choose from for your guests.
- tender, curdled cheese (e.g. goat cheese),
- white cheese with a soft texture (brie or camembert),
- semi-soft cheese (give preference to cheese made from cow's milk), such as brik,
- blue cheese (including cabral and gorgonzola),
- hard cheese (parmesan, passing).
Tip # 3: slicing cheese before serving
Different types of knives are used to cut different types of cheese.
So, blue cheeses are cut with a knife with a wavy sharpening and risks, so that the mold remains intact. Hard cheese is cut into large knives with two handles.
There are also various methods of slicing cheese. Cheese is cut into slices, cubes, or thin strips, twisting them into rolls. The best option is when each type of cheese is clearly visible in the context.
By the way, along with cheeses, do not forget to bring two different blades to the table so that tastings of different varieties do not mix during tasting.
Tip # 4: Fruits, nuts, and honey for cheese are an important addition
The French are not limited only to cheeses. Fresh fruits are always served on the table with them, for each cheese variety - different.
Camembert cheese with grapes and cracker
- blue cheeses combine cherry, pineapple,
- soft cheeses - pears and apples,
- with blue cheeses served celery,
- any nuts are suitable for absolutely all types of cheeses,
- clusters of grapes are always a win-win addition to cheese.
Additives such as apricot jam or honey are appropriate for cheeses. At the same time, honey should be too thick to conveniently dunk pieces of cheese in it.
Pay particular attention to bread. The choice should be diverse: crispy baguettes, rustic, rye bread with nuts and dried fruits. A light cracker will come in handy.
Tip number 5: choose the right cheeses for your wine list
Cheese plate and wine - this duet is inextricably linked. In Russia, wine is picked at random on a cheese plate. However, different sorts of wines are combined with different sorts of cheeses.
- goat cheese served with Sauvignon,
- Camembert and brie are good paired with chardonnay, red wines, varieties with a pronounced fruity taste.
The most difficult thing is to select wine for hard cheeses. There is no such kind of wine that would suit absolutely all cheeses. There can only be one recommendation: the brighter and richer the taste of cheese, the bouquet and taste of the drink should be stronger and richer.
Tip # 6: Serve cheese on the table too
The best option is when the cheese platter is served on a wooden board. But if there is no such board, then earthenware plates with a wooden bottom are suitable, as well as ordinary plates made of ceramics and earthenware.
If the pieces of cheese are too small, they will quickly weather and lose their palatability. It will be more practical if you put one large piece, and around it - several small ones. Count so that for each person there was 50 gr. cheese of each grade.
What to do in a situation where you bought and served too much cheese on the table and it remained uneaten until the end?
Goat cheese is the least stored - it needs to be eaten in less than two weeks.
Semi-hard cheeses are stored for longer than a month, and hard ones can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Cheese sets with delivery in Moscow
If you don’t have time and experience in making a cheese plate, and a buffet or other event is just around the corner, Canape Bar will come to your aid! Our catalog contains a large selection of cheese sets from cheeses of European and Russian production. We make all sets of fresh, high-quality cheeses in strict accordance with the requirements of serving cheese tables. Here you can choose and buy a cheese plate with delivery in Moscow, ready to be served.
We also have a large assortment of cheese canapes that are well suited to any buffet table.
In the next post we will tell you how to choose cheeses: what taste and aroma a real camembert, brie, gorgonzola, etc. should have.
Focus on one type of cheese
There are two ways to present a specific cheese. You can choose the cheese that absolutely everyone likes, for example, sharp cheddar or the ideal brie head, or you can opt for a more refined and unusual option, such as taleggio or blue cheese. In any case, you will need one carbohydrate delivery system and one additional bonus. You can find a variety of options, but you don’t even have to spend time on this, as this article presents several ways to make a particular cheese shine.
Dubliner, apple slices and grilled baguette slices
Dubliner is a solid aged cheese made from cow's milk that tastes spicy, sweet and nutty. Since it has such a complex tart aroma, it is best to use plain bread, as well as offer crispy fruit that would clear the taste buds. A green apple will perfectly allow you to avoid oversaturation with the tastes of your mouth, that is, with the help of these fruits you can eat more cheeses for a longer period of time.
Kambotsola, crackers with dried fruits and honey
This mix of French aged soft cream cheese with Italian Gorgonzola is simply a great option with a soft blue mold aroma and creamy texture. It is best to eat this cheese with crackers containing dried fruits such as figs, olives or cranberries. Also, many people like to add honey to blue cheese, and this variety is no exception.
Parmesan and good balsamic vinegar
This is an ingenious idea that will allow you to forget about the carbohydrate delivery system. You just need to find a really high-quality, thick, seasoned balsamic vinegar with which you can sprinkle cheese or dunk cheese into it.
Double (or triple) pleasure
If you are going to serve two types of cheese on a cheese plate, then you should choose them so that one is hard and the other soft. However, it is much more interesting to serve three varieties of cheese, as this will allow you to add something unexpected and even crazy to the plate. Here are a few options for each of the three categories.
If you are going to serve three types of cheese on a cheese plate, then one of them must be firm. You should choose for this purpose a cheddar, seasoned gouda, a duplicator or really high-quality edam (you should choose the one that is sealed in red wax in the head). You can also choose parmesan, but pay attention to ensure that the cheese is as close to the crust as possible, as well as the Spanish Machengo.
The second kind of cheese served on a cheese plate should be soft, and there are some very good options for this category as well. This may be burrata (creamy mozzarella sister), camembert with a mushroom flavor, meaty, but at the same time fruit taleggio, fresh goat cheese, home-made ricotta and, of course, brie. All of these options will be a great way to enjoy the soft side of the cheese.
In this case, the best approach is to talk with the cheese merchant and tell him that you want something that you can surprise and delight your guests. Торговцы сыром в этом вопросе являются самыми полезными людьми в мире, и они с радостью помогут вам сделать выбор. Если же говорить о конкретных вариантах для этой категории, то можно обратить внимание на помадообразный норвежский коричневый сыр, необычный шоколадный сыр, сыр с лавандой и зеленью, ароматизированный хаварти или же самый мягкий сыр с самым резким запахом, который вы сможете найти.This category will also allow you to add something that you have long wanted, such as pimento cheese, which is not particularly sophisticated, but it is still incredibly tasty and will always be a great addition to a cheese plate.
To provide a variety of flavors and tastes, you can change the pattern and serve three types of cheese from other categories. For example, it can be cheeses from milk of various animals: cows, sheep and goats. However, the “hard, soft, and unusual” scheme most often works much more efficiently.
Now that you have chosen the cheeses for your cheese plate, it's time to think about what you will add to them. At this point, you can give free rein to fantasy, but do not overdo it. It’s best to set yourself limits: for example, one sweet point, one salty point, one sweet sauce point and one piquant sauce point. You will also need bread or crackers.
- Fresh fruits: apples, grapes, pears, blueberries, strawberries or any other berries, figs and so on will be an excellent tool for cleaning the oral cavity, acting as the opposite of a salty dairy product with a rich taste.
- Dried fruits: Sour and sweet dried cherries and cranberries go well with blue mold cheeses, and dried fruit with pits, such as apricots, add a special note and combine with rich cheeses. Dates are also a good choice and are combined with both very sharp and soft cream cheeses.
- Olives: Instead of buying one can of each type of olives, you can visit the store where they are sold by weight and buy a few olives of each shape, each size and color. If you buy olives with stones, do not forget to offer your guests a bowl where they can leave these stones.
- Pickles: There is one item that must be present on your cheese plate, and these are gherkins. These little cucumbers carry out a very strong acid attack on your taste buds, but they also look very cute.
- Meat: with this item you need to be careful, as your cheese plate can quickly turn into a plate with meat snacks. Choose one really high-quality type of meat and let it be the star of this show. If you serve a large number of strong, salty or tart cheeses, it is worth choosing a less aggressive version, such as mortadella, but more often the choice is made in favor of richer and sharper salami, and you can also choose paste or liver mousse.
- Nuts: in this case, you can serve a nut mixture, but you can choose what you like best, for example, caramelized pecans, pistachios or marcon almonds.
- Honey and jam: when you first pour cheese on honey, you might think that you invented something incredible. However, it turns out that this combination was invented many years ago. But this discovery, one way or another, will completely change your attitude to cheese. Jams and jams can also add sweet notes to your cheese plate.