I LOVE cheese!!! And I love paté. Luckily Steve loves these too and we’ve finally figured out how to put together a mean cheese plate.
Tips for your Cheeseboard
1. Select cheeses from different types of milk: Goat, Cow and Sheep.
2. Select different flavor profiles: stinky, nutty, spicy, delicate, bold…you get the picture.
3. Select different textures: firm, crumbly, soft, gooey.
4. Serve your cheese at room temp (take them out of the fridge about an hour before serving)
5. Pimp out your cheeseboard: Adriatic Fig Spread, olives, roasted peppers, nuts, cornichons, fresh fruit like pears, apples, grapes,and/or fresh fig. Turn your cheese plate into a charcuterie plate and add paté, proscuitto, soppressata, jamón serrano, or coppa to name a few.
6. Don’t forget to provide some rustic bread and simple crackers.
7. There are some really impressive cheese boards on the market, so don’t be afraid to invest in one. I use a serving board from crate and barrel, but I’ve seen a couple on amazon that look pretty sweet. I like the look of serving it up on an old, rustic cutting board, but a pretty plate would work well too.
8. It’s nice to use different knives for each cheese, but they usually get mixed up in the end. For softer cheeses a spoon sometimes works better than a knife.
9. I like to pair with a Sauvignon Blanc or a Côtes du Rhône, but sometimes it’s fun to pair with different beers too… a coffee porter, pumpkin ale, or maybe a fresh hopped pale.
Some of My Favorite Cheeses
Rogue Creamery Caveman Blue (Oregon)- Is an organic raw cow’s milk blue cheese aged 6 months. It has a slightly sweet flavor, a rich buttery texture and a hint of bacon. Found at Whole Foods and Amazon.
Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor (California)- Is a pasteurized goat cheese that has had black truffle added to the mix and been allowed to ripen. This cheese has a great earthy quality while still being both tangy and buttery. Definitely my favorite right now!!! You can purchase Truffle Tremor from Amazon and have it shipped to your door for a small fortune or at your local Whole Foods.
Quattro Portoni Caseificio (Gritti) Quadrello di Bufala (Italy)- This mild flavored, semi-soft cheese is made from water buffalo milk and is from the Lombardy region of northern Italy. It is a washed rind cheese made in the same fashion as Taleggio, it’s more pungent cow milk counterpart. Quadrello di Bufala has a sweeter milkier flavor than Taleggio with hints of hay and grass. Once again, Whole Foods and Amazon both carry Quadrello di Bufala.
Mitica The Drunken Goat (Spain)- This Spanish goat’s milk cheese is made from the milk of Murciano-Granadina goats. During the cheese-making process the cheese is soaked in red wine for three days, giving the rind a deep purple color. The Drunken Goat has a very slight sweetness countered by a sharp finish and a firm texture. This easy to like cheese is available at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Amazon
Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk (California)- Not for the faint of heart….this triple cream washed rind cheese is STINKY!!!! Like dirty feet stinky!!! And it is delicious with fresh sliced apple and rustic bread. This cheese is made with organic cow milk and has a super creamy mouthfeel. BEWARE: Your whole house will smell like stinky cheese and as the cheese comes to room temperature it will only get stinkier. You can find this one at Foster and Dobbs in NE Portland…maybe at Whole Foods or New Seasons (I know I’ve seen it around, but I can’t remember where).
Morbier (France)- Morbier is a raw cows milk cheese and is not to be confused with American Mobay (a goat and sheep milk cheese that looks similar). The tradition of Morbier began in the Franche-Comté region of eastern France. Traditionally farmers would press the leftover curds from the evening milking into a mold and sprinkle with vegetable ash to prevent rind and keep bugs away, then in the morning they would add curds from the morning milking, creating two distinct layers. This cheese is fairly mild, a little bit stinky, and has a nutty flavor. This style of cheese is easier to find and can be found at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and New Seasons.
Dalmatia Dried Fig Spread- A delicious spread that pairs well with most cheeses.Can be found at Whole Foods and most other high end or artisanal cheese shops.
365 Organic Cracked Pepper Water Crackers- These super simple crackers that won’t overpower your cheeseboard can be found at Whole Foods.
If you’re in the Portland Area Ken’s Artisan Bakery on 21st makes heavenly breads. They’re so delicious that I am inspired to make my own…how hard can it be, right? We’ll see what happens when I finally get around to it; until then I will continue to by Ken’s breads. He also makes amazing macarons!!! YUM!!!
Don’t be afraid to try something new!
Here are a couple of really cool cheeseboards: