Summer Party Tip: How To Serve Cheese
High summer is just around the corner, and we all know what that means. That’s right, it’s the cycle of Festive Season parties that will bring you closer to your family and friends. During these months, gathering together is made even better by blissful weather, fresh foods, and abundance of all kinds. One of the traditional offerings that everyone enjoys is a cheese tray.
There’s a way to serve fine cheese that will do it justice, and we’ll let you in on a little secret—it has nothing to do with crackers or party toothpicks. Below, we’ll discuss some of the wonderful ways you can serve great cheese that will play up its delicious subtleties and delight everyone who samples from your offerings.
It’s said by those in the know that good cheese is best served with good bread. When selecting your bread, keep in mind what it does when you eat it. Does it disintegrate or is there a little chewing involved? What does it feel like in your mouth—smooth or crumbly? Generally speaking, many cheese fanatics recommend a solid sourdough, a rustic French loaf,, or even Irish brown bread—all three known for their hearty textures and delightful flavours.
While the word on the street is that crackers are passé, used to disguise inferior cheeses, crostini are quite en vogue. Investigate making some quick herbed crostini on the fly. Purchase a baguette of sourdough or French bread. Baguettes are easier to slice, but you can purchase any bread you wish.
Slice the bread at intervals of approximately two centimetres. Brush the surface of each slice with olive oil and sprinkle with dried basil and garlic. You can also make plain crostini in this way. Bake them in the oven at 177 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Then, arrange your slices on your platter around your chevre or other spreadable cheese.
Fruit, Herbs & Nuts
While some cheeses are best served with bread, due to what cheese experts call Umami Synergy—an effect in which the fermented amino acids in the bread and those in the cheese compliment and heighten one another—some cheeses are fantastic with other pairings. Especially if you’re aiming for aesthetic impact as well as excellent pairings, below are several ideal fruits and herbs that go well with various cheeses.
For cheeses such as Stilton or other strong, sharp cheeses, consider a fruit pairing. Berries and crisp apples that are more tart than sweet are excellent. If you’d like to punch up your serving skill level a bit, serve a variety of berry or apple dishes—a compote, fresh, and even a tart can add visual interest and appeals to a variety of palates.
With a strong Bleu, go for something with equal staying power. Quince paste makes a perfect pairing, as do spiced and roasted almonds or sundried tomatoes in olive oil.
When offering Brie and other exquisitely mild cheeses—you really can’t go wrong with mellow fruits like pears or even marzipan delicacies. The key is to remember to keep it low key. You can serve Brie at room temperature, or baked in an earthenware dish with cool slices of fruit and delicate desert breads, honey, and roasted nuts.
How It Appears & Disappears
When it comes to arranging a cheese tray for excellent visual impact, there are only a few rules to remember. Vivid colours are excellent, but shouldn’t detract from your star—the cheese. You should always consider allowing space between the components of your platter. Whether you serve it on a rustic oak board or on cut crystal, don’t crowd your cheese.
Keep things fresh. Because cheese is delicious at any time of year, there are a number of ways to prepare it. Generally speaking, for summer gatherings, the less fooled around with your cheese is, the better. One way to allow your guests room to partake of your fine cheese offering is to place it in the centre of your serving board or platter. Arrange pairings in small groupings around the edge of your serving dish. This way, each guest can explore the various offerings without committing to a single pairing. Your guests will enjoy your cheese tray and you will look like a cheese expert.