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Friday, February 17, 2012

A bit more about cheese

 Cheese Knives, Boards & Trays
While it is not necessary to have special accessories to serve and enjoy cheese here are a few tips for serving with ease:

* Cutting boards, or wooden trays, a piece of marble or interesting platters and plates are ideal for attractive cheese arrangements.

* Provide a knife or cheese cutter for each variety to avoid using the same knife for more than one cheese

* While ordinary kitchen knives are acceptable for casual entertaining, there are many utensils designed specifically for cutting cheese. Some of the more popular cheese serving utensils are *
"Fork Tip Knife" This knife is best for semi firm cheese. The forked tip can lift the cheese wedge, cube or slice to cracker or a plate. It is about 8 inches in length.

* Spreader is a short knife shaped utensil used for soft or semi soft cheese.

* Cheese Server is a small. wedge-shaped utensil that is often has a serrated cutting edge. It is used primarily for lifting portions of cheese.

                                                Creating a cheese Tray or Board
A cheese tray is a gracious way of entertaining family and friends and can be as an elegant appetizer, a refreshing snack or a sophisticated Dessert.
The selection and arrangement of different cheese varieties can add to their enjoyment.   Select cheeses that offer a range of flavors~ from mild to sharp and a blend of textures~ from creamy smooth to firm. Take advantage  of the color and shape contrasts in the world of cheese  and be sure to include chunks of cheese  along with bite size samples. Do not crowd  the cheese tray. Leave space around each cheese so that guests  can serve themselves.
What to serve?  Natural cheese is attractive  by itself; but crackers breads, and fresh fruit are popular  partners which heighten the enjoyment of cheese and wine. During a cheese and wine tasting , unsalted crackers and bread should be offered to cleanse the palate before tasting the next variety.
 Select flavors that will compliment  the cheese. The selection is a matter of personal preference:  but most often unsalted crackers are used like: unsalted wafers, Melba toast, soda crackers, sesame seed crackers, flat breads and wheat crackers. Breads are  usually "Crusty" varieties Italian, French and sour dough. Just be sure they are fresh and do not distract from the flavors of the cheese.
Fresh fruit make a nice contrast  in flavor and color and texture for almost any cheese.  Apples, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and strawberries are compatible. The fruit can be placed on a tray with the cheese  or in a separate bowl or basket. Camembert or  Brie arranged on a separate plate with fresh strawberries a cluster of grapes or a crisp pear or apple is an elegant desert.

Now  have fun.. Go to your Cheese Department in the Deli of your Grocery store, ask to sample a few varieties and Invite your friends in for a nice evening.
Now your cooking!

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