Creating the Cheese Course ~
Putting together a cheese course or cheese board as it is often called, is limited only by your imagination. The grouping can be thematic, it can be systematic, or it can be eclectic.
Here are a few suggestions for putting together a cheese board that will make for a fun, flavorful, and festive course.
• Choose cheeses with a variety of textures. This might mean soft, fresh goat cheese and a soft-ripened cheese such as Gorgonzola, a semi-hard mountain-style cheese, such as Cave Aged Gouda , and a hard and flavorful cheese like Vella Aged Jack or Parmigiano Reggiano.
• Assemble your cheese board by choosing cheeses made from the three main types of milk: goat, sheep and cow.
• Choose your cheese board based on the wine you are serving. If you are serving a young, lightly acidic wine, then choose young, highly acidic cheeses. If you are serving a big, bold red wine; serve creamy and/or salty cheeses since both will complement the wine.
• Don’t mix several strong cheeses. Smoked cheeses, for example, will overtake almost every other flavor, so should probably not be served as part of the cheese board.
• Serve no more than six cheeses, probably less. Fewer are better because it is easier on the flavors of a few cheeses.
• Bring all cheeses to room temperature before serving.
• Serve simple fruits, vegetables and breads with the cheese. You can even try matching a fruit or vegetable with a particular cheese. For example, dried dates and aged, salty cheeses form an addictive combination.
And most important – Have Fun!