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For the Love of Cheese

Do you love serving cheese but want to avoid those boring premade grocery store cheese trays?  No worries, just apply these notes to your next cheese tray display, and your friends and family will be impressed

Different types of Cheeses

Cheeses vary by milk type (cow, sheep, goat) as well as by texture (soft, semi-soft, hard) and flavor intensity (mild, strong, sharp). Cheese departments usually segment their cheese selections also by country of origin. Another phrase you’ll often observe when dealing with cheese (and/or wine and bread) is “artisanal”. The artisan label is frequently used to mark a product that was produced in limited quantities using traditional methods. Artisan products are often pricier and are usually perceived to be of better quality than the mass-produced version.

Cheese Display Suggestions

  • Include only four or five different cheeses in one display. If you like to serve more than four or five different cheese types, offer a second display with different complimentary items and garnish.
  • Factor approximately 2 to 3 ounces of cheese per
  • Remove the cheeses from the refrigerator about an hour before serving as cheese is generally best served at room temperature
  • Provide a specific serving knife for each type of cheese
  • Include some complimentary items such as grapes, berries, pear slices, apple slices and/or olives as well as different types of crackers and maybe some sliced breads of neutral flavor.

Choose an Attractive Display Platter

There are many different platters and trays that can give a cheese and cracker display a creative and attractive presentation. There are many themed trays available, such as a football shaped dish for a Super Bowl party or a Christmas tree shaped dish for a holiday party. Thick wooden cutting boards work nicely for every occasion.

Which Cheeses to Melt?

When it comes to melting cheese on a burger, in an omelet or for a dip, cheeses like Cheddar, Monterrey Jack, Gouda and Brie provide great taste and flavor. However, keep in mind that a lot of people consider the best melting cheese to top a burger is good old American Cheese!

Miscellaneous Cheese Tips

  • Serve all soft ripened cheeses in wedges.
  • Serve fresh soft cheeses like Brie, un-cut and in full with a knife handy to cut and spread it onto crackers or bread.
  • Semi-soft cheeses should be served pre-cut.
  • Semi-hard cheeses should be cut into wedges or cubes that expose the cheese to the air.
  • Hard cheeses are better served in pre-cut pieces.
  • Bleu cheeses should be served in chunks created by your cheese knife.
  • Arrange cheeses with seasonal fruits cut into bit size pieces. This is also an opportunity to have a few nuts as part of your display platter as well.
  • Don't forget tongs, cheese knives, cheese forks, utensils and/or wooden picks, serving plates, and napkins.

Wine and Cheese Make for a Great Party 

Red wines such as Merlot and Cabernets tend to be robust with a strong aroma while other reds such as Pinot Noir and Red Zinfandel tend to be a bit lighter and fruitier. As a general rule, red wines pair well with milder hard cheeses.

White wines usually come in lighter flavors and vary from very light and refreshing such as Sauvignon Blanc to heavier and more full-bodied Chardonnays. Whichever type you prefer, white wines typically enhance the flavors of soft, more pungent cheeses with strong flavors.

Sweeter whites such as Rieslings and desserts wines (Ports & Sauternes) tend to play well of off saltier flavored cheeses.

Fruit and Cheese ─ A Wonderful Combination

Cheese Display with fruits by Royal Catering

Cheese Display with fruits by Royal Catering, Inc.

 
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