Are there any Cheese Chasers fans out there? I’m speaking of the show on the AWE cable channel with cheese expert Will Studd who travels around the world in search of rare and unique cheeses.
Tasty Tuesday: Finally a Design Board You Can Eat
Although I am not flying all over creation visiting creameries and cheese mongers, I can say I’ve tried many of the local cheeses at my Whole Foods and our town’s farmer’s market. This weekend I tried one of my favorites so far; the Vampire Slayer by Calkins Creamery. What a mouthful of amazing flavors-a blend of paprika, spices and even a hint of ginger. As it turns out, this cheese also paired beautifully with both a pinot noir and a deep red blend. Not that I had them at the same time mind you. 😉
Making a visually pleasing charcuterie board is the key to any enjoyable wine and cheese experience. It just has to look beautiful. No one wants to eat a plate of mashed up olives and sloppy cheese rinds. There are many integral parts of the presentation; most importantly would be taste, followed by the variety offered and then of course, the aesthetic appeal.
Here’s is my list of go to items:
-You need an assortment of cheeses in varying sizes and textures such as firm (like parmesan, cheddar and gouda) and soft (brie, Camembert). There are so many different types so try some samples if you can before purchasing.
-You’ll want at least one meat, (two if you’re making a substantial mini meal) such as dry salami, prosciutto, or pate (traditional fois gras pate is made with goose liver and I’m happy to say that you can finally find some that use the liver from humanely treated geese. Don’t even get me started!)
-Olives, gherkins (small pickles) and another garnishes are great as palate cleansers and go well with the meats. Red peppers, pickled onions and artichoke hearts are other good options.
-Condiments such as fine mustards, chutneys, spreads, or even specialty honeys can really bring out the flavor of your cheese offerings.
-You will want to offer a small bowl of plain water crackers, crostini or other crunchy crackers to spread the soft cheese on.
-Sliced apples or grapes add a pop of tart, refreshing flavor. Figs in season are awesome, as are ripe cherry tomatoes and even slices of cucumber.
A pretty board or cheese tray is a must, along with cute cheese knives- one for each variety of cheese.
When planning your board, you can choose a theme like local, cheeses of the world, or even raw and organic options.
Have fun with it and enjoy your food!