Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Putting together a cheese plate- part 2

So, now that you've got an idea about accouterments it's time to pick your cheese. This is the super fun part. There are different ways to go about this. You can go with a theme like country, milk, texture or type. You can also look your cheesy fate right in the eye and have no theme other than "yum".

I picked a number of different cheeses for my plate today using with the yum theme. I've got different milks, different countries, different textures and a double in one case.

  • Picolo is a triple creme cows milk cheese made by the always delicious Andante Dairy in California.
  • Robiola Rochetta is a mixed milk cheese (cow, sheep and goat) from Northern Italy. This is one of my favorite cheeses. It has a creamy consistency but has a big of a tanginess due to the goat and sheep milk
  • Marisa is a sheeps milk cheese from Carr Valley in Wisconsin. This is a lovely cheese that has slight grassy and lemony flavors to it. Although a sheeps milk cheese, it doesn't have any barnyard flavors to it making it a very agreable cheese for company
  • Mahon is a Spanish cow milk cheese. Rubbed in paprika this cheese has a slightly smoky and nutty flavor.
  • Mahon Curado is also a Spanish cow's milk cheese. This is a cheese controlled by the D.O. This cheese has a much bigger creamy, salty flavor.
  • Montgomerys English Farmhouse Cheddar. This is THE CHEDDAR. Raw milk, clothbound, grassy, salty, creamy, big brash, dense and lovely. This is what all other Cheddars aspire to. Lovely, yummy goodness.
  • Hooligan is a raw cow's milk cheese from Cato Corner Farm Colchester, CT. A washed rind cheese that's pretty mild considering the big foot on that cheese.
  • Golden Goat Gouda is an aged goat's milk cheese (big revalation I know) made in the Netherlands. Caramel, salt, goaty goodness.
  • Gorgonzola Naturale cow's milk from Italy. Not as creamy or sweet as Gorgonzola Dolce (what did you think Dolce meant) this aged blue is well balanced and delicious.
  • Covadonga is a cow/sheep blend from Spain. I cant explain it, but the finish on this cheese is a little bit beefy to me. I love it.
When you're putting your cheeses out you should crumble or slice the cheese according to what the cheese wants to do. The Golden Goat Gouda is very hard, and has little moisture. This cheese wanted to crumble. The two Mahons cut very differently. I cut them into similar sizes, and left the rinds on to help eliminate any confusion.

Now I have written down the cheeses in what I think will be mildest to strongest. That is how you want to arrange your cheese plate. If you start with the Covadonga how will you be able to get all the nuances of the Picolo? Usually I have 3 to 5 cheeses for my cheese plate (although sometimes a Langres is all you need). As you can see, I don't have a lot or accoutrements for this plate. A bit of dried fruit, some crackers (just because I don't really like them doesn't mean other people don't) and some bread. Delicious!

The cheese tray spirals out from the Picolo in the center and ends with the Covadonga.

And then like animals, we destroyed the cheeses.

Usually I do a smaller cheese plate like this one. Here we have the Picolo (triple creme), the Mahon Curado (semi-hard) and the Covadonga. A few dried fruits, some crackers, and you have a lovely cheese plate.


Alex Rushmer said...

Looks fantastic, even at this time in the morning

Shelly said...

We are big fans of cheese! Welcome to the foodie blog roll.

Spryte said...

Wow! You are a cheese GODDESS!!!

Cheesewench said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you guys find it to be fun and informative.