Cheese! Glorious Cheese! Oh yes, there is no better time to break out a cheese board than over the holidays when people drop in for a little snog under the mistletoe or some delicious Good Earth wines and glam cocktails. We’ve pulled together this cheesy post to help you with all your cheese decisions.
It goes without saying that you will likely end up purchasing more cheese than is actually consumed at your little soirée, so before we get into our tips, tricks & recipe, we invite you to check out SeriousEats.com. This is a good piece that has what I’ll call an illustrated guide to “wrap and store cheese”, written by cheesemonger, Jack Lahne. Even the comments section holds some interesting tidbits. Now on to the fun stuff.
Tips for Serving Cheese
- Always allow cheese to sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving, this allows the natural fats to rest and flavors to bloom
- When composing a cheese platter make sure to have a variety of cheeses including mild varieties (Ontario Goat’s Cheese) and stronger varieties (Bleu Elizabeth).
- Balance your cheeseboard to include both soft and hard cheese
- Include nuts, as well as fresh & dry fruit. Not only are these delicious accompaniments to cheese but also offer something to guests who have gluten allergies.
- Jellies & Jams (especially those created by our resident Jam Maker Extraordinare Nicolette) make cheese sing, the sweetness is the perfect pairing for the earthiness of cheese
- Use cheese labels so guest know what they are eating
- Choose Canadian Cheese: Canadians rock in this department and deserve the bragging rights!
Why do we say Cheese when our picture is being taken?
Who knows which photographer originally thought of this, but we do know that when you say “cheese,” the corners of your mouth turn up, your cheeks lift and your teeth peek out. Gives us a lovely smile. Oddly enough, before “cheese” photographers instructed subjects to say “prune”. Not as delish but would likely give a small rosebud-ish mouth which would have been deemed desirable in times past!
The Nosey Goat Nanny Noir from our very own locally acclaimed Upper Canada Cheese Company is a stellar fromage. Rubbed with vegetable ash it’s has a strong finish and smells like “God’s Feet.” It is scrumptious served with olive oil crostini and The Good Honey.
TGE Gamay Infused Cheese Pot
2 cups caramelized onions
2 pound of any cheese, rinds removed at room temp for at least one hour
½ cup The Good Wine Gamay
1 cup assorted chopped herbs (parsley, lemon thyme, fresh oregano, rosemary)
Few drops TGE Sriracha Sauce
1 teaspoon grainy Mustard
1 cup 10% or 35% cream
1/3-Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Using a food processor incorporate all ingredients until smooth. Serve with bread, crackers fall fruit & Nuts
Before you head back to the daily “rind”:
Breaking (ish) News: Ontario is now home to the “Supreme Global Champion” of cheese! How awesome is THAT. Aged Lankaaster from Lancaster, Ont., from Glengarry Cheesemaking, walked off with the top prize at the annual Global Cheese Awards in October 2013. “It was crowned the winner among 167 categories, which included such cheese legends as Shropshire Blue and Parmigiano Reggiano.” Read the Globe & Mail story here for more info about the awards and Canada’s sweet victory!
And finally, we found a yummy looking Pinterest Board with some awesome Cheese-ography: Say Cheese and Merry Christmas!