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Mar 4, 2010 02:38 PM

Cheese Platter Specifics

Organising a dinner and what to do the cheese platter AND dessert at end of meal as in trad. French or Italian menu. I know it is meant to be kept simpler (eg no Blues or spicey cheeses) and I think you do fresh fruit rather than dried but can anyone give me more detail/guidance? and accompaniments? Also order - one site I visted said the French do it after dessert, the Italians serve the cheese before dessert... cheers
PS. I'm in a bit of a hurry if anyone's out there!

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  1. This should get you started and you'll note that bleu cheese is good:


    I prefer a cheese course in the place of dessert.

    1. italians add meat to their cheese platters ( pepperoni, salami, ham, olives, etc) and serve with crusty bread

      3 Replies
      1. re: babbabooey

        But wouldn't that be an antipasti? I pulled out my Molto Italiano and he comments that after dinner it would more likely be "a piece of cheese, a pear and a couple of biscotti, or tiny chocolates with coffee."

        1. re: c oliver

          Yeah this is what I read. Meats etc would be antipasti - and we are having an individual antipasto plate as our starter. As there is more an italian flavour to this dinner than French I am erring towards a very simple cheese and fresh fruit deal as you have said. the whole issue is it being END of meal, not start... PS thanks for earlier reply too

          1. re: bermarlan

            i misunderstood..italian here; we dont really do cheese for dessert unless its marscapone!

      2. you can certainly have blues and stinky cheese! I do it before dessert.

        1. I've never had cheeses after the dessert (ok, maybe once or twice, like 2, 3 hours after everyone left and I'm cleaning up the house and nibbling on left-overs!)

          if you want to have cheese AND dessert, keep the cheese course simple, 1, 2 different cheeses (maybe not blue cheese that will overpower the dessert after) with simple nuts and dried fruits or some kind of preserves/chutney and keep portion sizes relatively small.

          If you want to only have cheese AS the dessert, you can go all out and have 4, 5 different kind of cheeses with nuts, fruits (dried and fresh like pears, apples, ...) I also like _good_ honey (with the wax comb) with _good_ nut bread or raisin bread or maybe some kind of brioche (like pannetone) or maybe panforte.


          1 Reply
          1. re: Maximilien

            I think your suggestions of non fresh fruits are excellent. The first time I ate honeycomb was this type of serving in a restaurant in Vancouver, BC. I have it regularly. Also had and then bought a wonderful grape chutney at Salumeria Rosi in NYC. Both of those places had small boards for each person although each time we were sharing. Nuts are great also.

          2. In France it's cheese before dessert in restaurants. Always.

            And, almost invariably, it is just cheese and bread. Eaten with a knife and fork.

            I've rarely seen cheese on a dessert menu in Italy.

            We Brits traditionally serve cheese after dessert. It's an odd concept that simply doesnt work, IMO, and is gradually dying out in favour of the French style.