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The after dinner cheese course

Cheese Board
Cheese Board

It is interesting to think that we have cheese included in nearly all of our meals throughout the day, like a continental breakfast, cheese in your sandwich or on toast for lunch, grated in mash or as toppings on pies and lasagna for dinner. The after dinner cheese board can be a great way to finish off a meal or dinner party. It is also great to take the time with company to enjoy great cheese.

The foundation of an interesting cheese board will be that you have a wide variety of textures, flavours and strengths and remembering a few great cheeses is better than many mediocre cheeses.

If you’re trying to work out quantities we generally say 110 g per person so if you are having six guests and serving five cheeses they need about 130 g of the cheese. You will need to make sure that you serve the cheese at room temperature. If you take them straight from the fridge just before you serve the flavours and the aromas will be inhibited and the textures too firm and not natural. On the other hand Cheese should not be too warm, so avoid leaving them in a hot kitchen for too long (hours) as this will be particularly damaging to the textures.

Cheese selection

When serving the cheese don't put the cheese on individual plates, we recommended the sharing board in the centre of the table, it is one of the nicest ways to celebrate and display the cheese. The shared board also allows everyone to go for an extra piece of their favourite, perhaps avoiding the one they dislike. Take the opportunity to serve some unusual cheeses with a distinct flavours that you don’t normally experience, but also include a couple of more subtle cheeses. When selecting good cheeses for your board include some mild, rich, and strong variations as cheese needs to compliment other cheeses and also be standalone.

Selecting and showcasing complimentary cheeses is a skill, you need to consider what looks great together visually, then have a spectrum of flavours and textures to experience.

For example: A wonderful local goat cheese tasting of fresh herbs and grass, an aged hard unpasteurised cheese with its subtle and long flavours, a blue cheese in good condition served at room temperature, and just a few morsels of something wild, strong and smoked.

The key thing to remember is to seek out great cheese.

If you are drinking wine with your meal it is more than likely that you will have moved onto a relatively robust red wine at the time you will be starting your cheese course. This is the main reason why most people associate eating cheese with drinking wine, however we find the softer round of flavours offered by white wine in general offers a better compliment to cheese than most reds. A bottle of sweet wine or a fortified wine like port or sherry can also be a wonderful compliment to this cheese course. It will work well if you continue drinking them with a sweet dessert after the cheese is all gone….


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