Have you ever been asked to bring a cheese platter to a get together?
Said sure no problems, thinking it was going to be easy. Then got to your local store and spun out with just how many different types of cheese are available?
Well you are not alone….. Lucky for you we have a few tips using Flavour Pearls to make that next cheese platter just that little bit easier to put together.
First things first you need to select your cheeses…
There are so many amazing cheeses on the market, depending on where you shop you can often ask for a taste before purchasing which is wonderful.
(Particularly as a decadent cheese platter with a few varieties and accompaniments can be an expensive exercise!)
- Curd or fresh cheese (think goats curd, mozzarella styles, ricottas etc…)
- Brie or Camembert styles (the flavours can range from mild and creamy to quite pungent)
- Blue vein (there are some mild styles out there for those just venturing into the blue scene!)
- Swiss styles (gruyeres, Emmental’s, goudas etc..)
- Cheddars and parmesans
I like to have 2 – 3 different styles of cheese on offer, all with their own delicious accompaniment. Something to keep everyone happy! Check out this website for a comprehensive list of over 750 different cheese varieties www.cheese.com
Will Studd is the expert on all things cheese, if you are in the mood for the who, how, where and why of cheese from all over the world check out his series. It’s great to watch the cheese makers in action from hand crafted artisan to mass produced.
Now for the accompaniments…
Think sweet, sharp, fresh, texture, visual impact and temperature too.
- Sweet – Truffled Honey Flavour Pearls, Strawberry Flavour Pearls, Native Bush Tomato Flavour Pearls, Pepperberry & Cherry Flavour Pearls, truffled honey, quince pastes, fruit pastes, sticky figs, jams, dried fruits, sticky apricots
- Sharp – Balsamic Flavour Pearls, White Balsamic Flavour Pearls, Lemon & Black Pepper Flavour Pearls, Shallot & White Balsamic Flavour Pearls, relish, chutney, balsamic reduction, pickled vegetables, cornichons, pickly beetroot
- Fresh – Apples, pears, nashi pears, figs, grapes, tomatoes, lettuce, crudites vegetables
- Texture – nuts, crackers
- Visual impact – serve on a beautiful board or platter, use large shards of lavosh, whole bunches of grapes, a specific cheese knife
- Temperature – just about all cheese tastes better when served at room temperature, so try to remember to take it out of the fridge an hour or so before serving, also depending on the type of cheese you have, warming them a little can make for an amazing eating experience!
Don’t forget the bread!
A selection of breads and crackers along side your cheese is a must. I am particularly loving freshly sliced baguette at the moment with a few shards of lavosh to mix it up a bit. Now what…..well I will just give you a very basic guide. Your main guide is your own taste buds!
- The Cheddar and Parmesan style cheeses have a big flavour so need something with a bit of attitude. Try the sharp flavours here.
- The softer styles work beautifully with the sweeter flavours.
- You can’t go wrong if you have a couple of different accompaniments to choose from.
All I can say is have a go, taste the cheeses where you can in store. Try a couple of varieties with different accompaniments until you work out your new loves!
Here is a quick and delicious cheese platter to share with your favourites….
Warmed Triple Brie & Honey Flavour Pearls
- 1 round of your favourite triple brie – I used Tarago River triple brie here
- Honey Flavour Pearls or Truffled Honey Flavour Pearls – 1 x 50g jar
- Grapes (if they are out of season go for some nice fresh pear or apple sliced)
- Crackers /lavosh/bread – use whatever makes you happy
Now to finish the dish! Unwrap your cheese and put on a piece of baking paper, warm in the oven (180c) for about 8 minutes.
Now for the tricky bit…..getting your now very soft cheese onto the board! A quick move with a spatula should do the trick.
Top generously with Honey Flavour Pearls, add your fresh fruit to the platter and tah dah……. It’s a delicious combination and sure to have all of your friends asking how exactly you did it.
(If you want to serve it at someone else’s house and don’t want to use their oven you can just sneak it into the microwave for perhaps 45 seconds…..shhhh)
Oh one other thing, there are so many amazing Australian cheeses on the market try to give them all a go. Buy local!!!!!!
That’s it for today. Enjoy your cheese, I sure did 🙂
Catch you again soon
The Peninsula Larder Team…
The early bird may get the worm, but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.Jeremy Paxman