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Serving A Cheese Plate
* Estimate 1.5 oz. cheese per person when serving a selection of cheeses. If more than three cheeses are used, reduce portions to 1 oz.      

* If there is no main meal being served, increase the portions or portion size.
Take into consideration the time of day as well.
People tend to eat more in the evening than mid-afternoon.
Here in the US we tend to serve a cheese plate before a meal, as an appetizer.
In Europe cheese plates are more likely to be served after a meal,
to be presented with their finest wines.          

* Allow cheese to breathe out of the packaging and to get to room temperature before serving, usually about one hour. Cheese that is too cold lacks flavor.          

* If you slice cheese in advance, cover it with plastic so it does not dry out.          

* Serve a variety of cheeses. Take into consideration different milks - cow/goat/sheep.
Consider texture - semisoft, soft, hard. Add a blue...Combine sharp, mild, smooth, piquant.          

* In the warmer summer months, serve lighter, younger, fresh tasting cheeses.
In the colder months, harder cheeses, washed rind cheeses, and blue cheese.         

* In addition to doing a vertical tasting, where you progress from lighter to stronger cheeses, another option is a horizontal tasting. Serve a variety of cheddar from different countries, or a medley of goat cheeses, from soft to hard. Try a simple selection of sheep cheese, Pecorinos, with different herbs and textures. There are many ways to explore new cheeses of the world.      

Some ways to cut cheese:        
* cubes.        
* cut a wedge from a wheel and slice it sideways to form triangles.        
* cut a wheel of semi-hard or hard cheese in half and chisel it out with a sharp knife.        
* shave cheese for texture and more delicate flavors.                            

Food Pairings  

Crusty bread Crackers
Plain crackers/bread work well with strong flavorful cheeses.
Flavored/herb crackers/bread can be paired with simple neutral cheeses.  

Fresh fruits in season, berries are wonderful.

Dried fruits – apricots, figs, raisins, dates, pears and plums.

Jams, conserves, chutneys

Dark chocolate Olives – both the green and black provide a nice salty contrast to fresh cheeses.

Nuts – walnuts, pecans work well, even better when toasted

Flavored or plain honey. Raw honeycomb, great with blue cheese.

Sardines, wonderful with sheep’s milk hard cheeses.        

Cheese and Beverages    

A good rule of thumb – for delicate wines, serve delicate cheeses. More robust wines can handle stronger cheeses with concentrated flavors.  
There are a wide variety of cheeses to share with your favorite wines,
but there are no hard rules, eat and drink what you enjoy.  

There is a strong surge in beer and cheese pairings. A few cheeses are being made with the addition of hops. Ports, stouts and IPA’s work well with most cheeses.  

We also do many scotch and whiskey pairing events.
Aged gouda, strong blue cheeses pair well with smoky scotches.     

Please contact us if you have any questions
or would like assistance in planning a party selection.