When God decided to reward man for his labors, he taught man the art of cheese making. Since then, not a single house in the world has passed this exquisite and necessary delicacy.
Just imagine - early morning, your coffee is already ready and fills the kitchen with aroma. You woke up before everyone else, it’s still dark outside and you can’t rush anywhere. The ceramic cup heats up quickly from the drink, you take cheese out of the refrigerator and make a sandwich. But wait! Let's rewind this morning a few frames back and try to serve the cheese differently?
More than 500 varieties of cheese are known in the world, but they are usually classified according to hardness level and production technique.
There are soft cheeses such as - Camembert, blue cheese, mozzarella, feta, philadelphia - they are made from cow, sheep or black buffalo milk according to classic recipes. Each of the above has a unique taste and is suitable for salads and snacks.
Despite the fact that soft cheeses appeared relatively recently, they firmly settled in the hearts of true gourmets. They go well with honey, grapes and various jams. And if you find tomato-basil jam - just try to combine them, it will turn out very tasty!
It’s good to bake Camembert in the oven after adding a sprig of rosemary and a couple of drops of olive oil to it, and if you add rye croutons with garlic to it, you will be delighted.
Mozzarella - can be fried, wrapped in pita bread with tomatoes and Svani salt. Perfect if you urgently need to cook a quick, effective and satisfying snack. By the way, this cheese is a must on the table of the Queen of England.
When frying or baking cheeses - try experimenting with fresh herbs, add a few leaves or a sprig of herbs such as rosemary, thyme, basil and mint.
Hard cheeses appeared much earlier. Most of them are due to various monastic orders. Since then, their popularity has only increased. Just as in the case of soft - hard prepared from milk. Parmesan, Gouda, Cheddar, Maasdam - this is only a tiny fraction of the palette of all items.
How to serve cheese
But, back to you and morning coffee. Try this morning to start differently - for example, with a cheese plate. To do this, lay out several varieties of soft cheese, a couple of pieces of hard cheese, on a wooden plank (which is exactly what cheese should be served with). Not all hard cheese can be sliced. Some varieties, like parmesan - should be chipped off from a large piece, and the more careless its shape - the more beautiful it will look.
Pour some honey or apricot jam into a small saucer. On the side, on the plate, lay out fresh and sun-dried tomatoes, a couple of sprigs of basil, grapes and nuts. Of course, if you have truffle oil, you can add it, which will give the cheese a piquant and unforgettable aroma.
Cheese should be eaten by hand or special cheese forks. The use of cutlery is considered bad manners. And most importantly: eat with pleasure and try to arrange your meals beautifully, then your day will definitely become good.
What's wrong with a cheese plate?
It is believed that a classic cheese plate should contain several types of cheese - from hard with a pronounced smell to soft, tender without a strong smell, like the heart of lovers in the first weeks of a relationship.
To use such a plate, according to outdated canons, it is necessary along with red wine. However, if the best option for you is to combine cheese with coffee, coffee or fresh compote, then you should not change your habits.
Clear serving rules for a cheese plate: Cheeses are laid out on a plate in a circle, following some canons. First, spread soft cheeses with a washed crust, then pressed from raw milk, then blue. And that means we try cheese in ascending order: first soft and fresh, then piquant.
The cheese plate should be supplemented with nuts, apples, honey and grapes. These components allow you to reveal the taste of cheese and become a separate pleasant addition to the dish. You can also serve crackers or fresh bread on a separate plate, and replace honey with jam or jam. An excellent gastro-perversion is the option - dunk cheese in honey or jam. It looks weird, but very tasty.
Since the cheese plate is laid out around, then we eat it accordingly. If we are talking about a buffet table, then it’s worth taking cheese - first soft, then blue (which is from the edge, and then in the middle). We take a piece with a special fork and put it on a plate, then we take all the other additions.
Cheeses should be at room temperature, which means they should be taken out of the refrigerator an hour before serving.
What to do with brie cheese?
French soft brie cheese came to our region not so long ago. He managed to win the hearts (stomachs) of many gourmets, but few people know how to eat it properly.
Brie is a fairly versatile product that can be consumed in a variety of ways. And when no one sees at all the way they want. But to know about some general rules is still worth.
At a party, a buffet table, at a party we eat brie in small slices. Small ones are small, half a head of cheese for a slice will not work.
It can be eaten, both independently and with pears, apples, grapes, nuts.
Combining with champagne or wine is just fine.
Brie can be served with a baguette. Then put a little brie on a slice of baguette and add nuts or fruits.
All other types of soft cheeses - mascarpone, tofu, philadelphia should either be used in dishes (for example, prepare a tiramissu or add them to rolls), or brazenly spread on a fresh baguette. Why not?
Also watch a video where a real French (and very attractive) man shows by his own example how to eat cheese along with a baguette. Separately, we put a baguette, break off a piece (do not cut with a knife) and put cheese on bread. We do not need any additional plates or cutlery.
Voila. Now you are the main cheese lover in your company, who can safely tell the waiter that the cheese plate is served incorrectly.
Cheese serving rules
- Cheese is a perishable product, therefore it should be stored at a temperature of 6 - 8 °, but it is not recommended to serve such chilled cheese on the table. In order for the cheese to slightly heat up and fully reveal all its taste, it is necessary to remove it from the refrigerator an hour before the planned serving.
- Cheese should be chopped a maximum of a quarter of an hour before serving, if done earlier, the cheese slices will melt and wind up.
- The cheese is cut in such a way that each slice contains both the crust and the inside of the cheese.
- Each type of cheese is cut with a special knife. Chips are cut off from the hardest, seasoned cheese types (Parmesan type) with a knife with a wedge-shaped short blade, hard pressed cheese is cut with a long knife with two handles, cheese with blue mold is cut with a guillotine knife, which uses a steel string instead of a blade, which is especially soft cheese is cut with a knife with a wide blade, in which there are several "windows".
- When cheese is served as an appetizer, as a rule, one or two varieties of hard pressed cheese such as Gouda, Russian or Cheddar are chosen, the cheese is cut into thin, even slices, rectangular or triangular, and laid out in a fan on several small flat plates.
- If the cheese is served on the table as the main dish, or as the main dessert, in this case, the so-called "cheese plate" is made out.
How to make a cheese plate
- To create a cheese plate, you need several varieties of cheese of various types. The number of varieties can be different - some experts say that there should be at least five, others say that the minimum is four varieties. The main rule for the selection of cheese for a cheese plate is not in the number of varieties, but in their harmonious combination - different types of cheese should be laid out on the plate, for example, Mozzarella, slightly malleable and fresh to the taste, with the softest piquant taste of the softest Brie in white moldy crust, spicy “Dorblu” with a pungent characteristic odor and a fat, sweet “Maasdam”.
- A classic cheese plate is a large round board made of hardwood. Cheese is laid out in whole pieces on it. Each cheese is accompanied by a separate special knife designed for slicing it. According to the rules, each guest is supposed to cut off pieces of cheese on his own, but since in practice it is not always convenient to do this, often this canon is violated and the cheese is laid out on the board in a sliced form. The exception is cheeses in white mold “Brie” or “Camembert” - they are too tender, so they are cut immediately before use.
- The cheese is placed on the board in a certain order: first, the youngest and lightest cheese is placed on its edge, for example, “Mozzarella”, then, moving clockwise, the cheese is placed as their taste intensifies and the aging time increases - “Mozzarella” is laid out “ Bree ”, then“ Maasdam ”, and after him the sharp and sharp“ Dorblu ”. Try the cheeses in the same order.
- Instead of a wooden board for a cheese plate, you can use a very large flat dish or a special marble stand. The plate is decorated with nuts, grapes, pears, mint leaves and coffee beans.
What is served with cheese
Noble cheeses are best suited for nuts, dried fruits and fresh fruits. For example, grapes, almonds and cashew nuts are served with blue mold cheeses, raisins, dried apricots and dates are served with hard cheeses, Mozzarella is served with olives, Cherry dried tomatoes and basil. Juicy pears with oily flesh are generally considered one of the best additions to all cheeses; they are especially in harmony with cheeses with a white mold crust. In more detail about the products suitable for cheese, we already talked about in the article What is there with blue cheese. In addition to various fruits and nuts, noble cheeses are also served wine, which is selected individually for each cheese variety.
About the composition of cheese and its benefits for the body, read our articles The composition of cheese and What is the use of cheese.
What cheese tastes better
The culture of consumption of cheese originated in Europe, and has a long history. Since ancient times, cheese and wine have been consumed together, so over time, rules have formed for the selection of the most appropriate combination of these products. For example, fruit wines are ideal for white and fresh cheeses. Smooth, fatty cheeses will taste better if you drink them with slightly oily wines. The taste of very salty cheese balances sour wine. Cheese with high acidity complements sweet wine well. For soft cheese varieties, the best addition would be dry, fresh red wine, but as a rule, white wines are often served with cheeses. But for hard cheeses, the best accompaniment is sherry, port or slightly chilled red wine. Interesting combinations are cheese and wine, which are made in one region.
Fans to surprise guests and experiment with tastes are advised to try how cheeses and beer are combined. The tasting should start with light cheeses and light beers, gradually moving to cheeses with more pronounced aromas and stronger beer. At the same time, beer should not be icy: slightly chilled, it is more aromatic. The main rule is not beer with cheese, but cheese with beer. Have a bite of cheese, appreciate its aroma, and then take a small sip of beer to enjoy the taste to the fullest.
As for the products, the taste of hard cheese is perfectly complemented by nuts, dried fruits and fresh fruits, with the exception of citrus fruits. Cheeses are served with fresh white bread, rye bread and crackers. But be careful with the proportions: the taste of cheese should not be drowned out by the taste of bread. Hard cheeses are also added to soups, pasta, omelets, scrambled eggs and pies. It perfectly thickens sauces, is perfect in a molten state (fondue), harmoniously complements meat and vegetable dishes.