Cheese-aholics ? Do you Blue Cheese ? International Cheese Platters ?
I am a new member from Italy and would enjoy hearing from all Chow Hound Members on the topic referenced :
Born and bred in Italy, we practice the Mediterranean Trilogy of: cheese, crusty bread & wine.
To move on to blue vein cheeses, we are very fond of :
Lombardia D.O. Designation of Origin Gorgonzola aged or sweet 3 to 6 month old
Asturias D.O. Cabrales Picón
France D.O. Roquefort
When preparing an international cheese platter, I depending who is invited for lunch, brunch, cocktail hour or Aperitif / Tapas or Meze Hour ( 8pm - 9pm or 20.00 hours to 21.00 hours ), there is always:
1 fresh French and 1 fresh Spanish goat variety
1 tender Galician, Spanish Smoked cow variety
1 cured ewe variety
1 aged in cave Sardinian Ewe variety
Since my husband is a Vet specialising in Bovine Medicine and Nutrition,
Photo Courtesy: Consejo de Regulador ( President of Regulation ) of Cabrales, Asturias, Spain.
Best regards, Margaux.
Stilton lovers might like to try Stilcheton if it's available where they are.
Made similar to a Stilton and within the designated geographical area - but it cannot call itself a Stilton becuase it is is made from unpastuerised milk. Personally I prefer it to Colston Bassett.
That said, my preferred British blue cheese is Blacksticks Blue (a blue Lancashire).
If you are looking for a continental blue, try Bleu de Causses. Think of it as a Roquefort made from cow's milk. It is aged in the Roquefort caves and is half the cost of Roquefort.
Regarding Roquefort, one of the producers, Gabriel Coulet, makes a 2 year Roquefort. Once you try that it is tough to go back to almost anything else.
Thanks for the lovely suggestion. Unfortunately Stilton is 6 times more expensive than Mediterranean blues, Cabrales, Roquefort or Gorgonzola the least expensive of the three.
Though I totally agree about Port, both Portuguese Port and Sardinian. Lovely.
Thanks for the replies.
Best regards. Margaux.
There are two schools of thought -- one is to have a "flight" of cheeses as you describe -- several varieties of the same type of cheese. Yes, it's so you can compare the tastes. For a young visitor a few years ago, I had a platter made up of five different kinds of Brie -- and it was interesting to see how they varied.
The other thought is that you present an array of cheeses, typically in odd numbers (no idea why) -- 3 or 5, typically, depending on how many people there are and how much cheese they eat.
My cheese plate is usually a hard cheese (typically Cantal or Comte - most people like these), a soft (Brie, because I live in the Brie region), a stronger chevre, a bleu, and finally something very gentle -- there's a very soft, sweet chevre rolled in diced, dried fruit that's delicious and much-loved (it's almost like whipped cream cheese, and even gentler on the palate) If I don't get the fruit-covered chevre, I'll add a sheep's-milk cheese.
It's rare that we serve other than a single cheese (invariably, a British one). .
There are three reasons for this. Firstly, the large piece needed always means it looks a generous offering. Secondly, it is possible to perfectly match the accompaniments, rather than having n a mish-mash. And, thirdly, it is so much easier to guarantee that a single cheese is in perfect condition.
It gives us great pleasure to offer guests a platter of, say, a Shorrocks Lancashire (http://www.lancashirebombs.co.uk/), matched with celery strips, a zingy tomato chutney and bread (good crispy crust, soft inside).