Cheese, please

PCC Taste | November 2013

A great cheese platter is a wonderful addition at almost any holiday party. Become an expert and build a beautiful platter for your next event. Sylvie, the cheese specialist at our Issaquah store, chose some of her favorite cheeses to help you; one plate is for the adventurous cheese connoisseur, while the other aims to please a broad variety of palates. Check with any of our store specialists for personalized recommendations.

crowd pleaser cheese plate

The crowd pleaser

  1. Pavé de Jadis Covered in ash, this goat cheese has a fudgy, creamy texture and a lemony, tangy finish.
  2. Delice de Mon Sire With an absolutely luscious, buttery mouthfeel, this triple-crème has a delicate texture and rich, mild flavor.
  3. P’tit Basque This Pyrenean cheese has a mellow sheep’s milk flavor and taffy-like texture. It is traditionally served with cherry jam.
  4. Sartori Asiago with Rosemary and Olive Oil This 2008 World Championship Gold Medal cheese is hand-rubbed with olive oil and rosemary. Firm, yet creamy, it has a sweet, herbal finish.
  5. Bleu d’Auvergne The true French classic blue, it is creamy with an earthy mellow flavor.

The adventurer

  1. Vermont Creamery Bonne Bouche This hand-crafted artisan goat cheese is covered with vegetable ashes. As it ripens at room temperature, the cheese will get creamier and more decadent.
  2. Camembert Le Pommier More intense than Brie, camembert has fresh notes of mushrooms and nuts.
  3. French Morbier This raw, semi-soft cheese with a layer of ash in the middle melts in your mouth.
  4. Gorgonzola Dolce The mildest of the three true Gorgonzola varieties, this soft, delicate cheese will surely seduce you.
  5. Spanish Manchego-style with Rosemary Fresh-ground rosemary leaves are blended with ewe's milk to bring you mellow flavors of the summer countryside.

5 simple tips for a perfect platter

  1. Start early and remove the cheese from the fridge one hour before serving. Chilled cheese loses points on both flavor and texture.
  2. Don't crowd the cheese. Use more than one platter to separate the deliciously stinky varieties from the more delicate types. Label each cheese clearly.
  3. Serving tools should be matched with the cheese type. Use spreaders for fresh cheese and paring knives for the hardest kinds. Soft kinds like Brie benefit from plastic blades or an open cutting surface.
  4. Plates and crackers for your guests should be plentiful. Pair flavored crackers thoughtfully, and consider a gluten-free Nut Thin to accommodate dietary needs.
  5. Accesorize with complementary nibbles: Marcona almonds, Dalmatia Sour Cherry Spread, pears or red grapes.

More about: cheese, entertaining, holidays

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