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Aug 23, 2012 07:40 AM

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:

2 blues
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.

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  1. You might try a mature Colston Bassett Stilton. It pairs well with Port, pears and walnuts.

    7 Replies
    1. re: CDouglas

      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).

      1. re: Harters

        Yes, Stilton is nice with Port, however, unfortunately, it is six times more expensive than Spanish Cabrales Picón which I love and local Gorgonzola or French Roquefort.

        Port pairs perfectly however, with blue vein cheeses.

        Best regards.

        1. re: foodeditormargaux

          Margaux, teleggio is hit or miss in the US, how is it regarded locally?

          1. re: foodeditormargaux

            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.

            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              So it is. I must have glossed over the proper name on the many times I've read it and eaten it. Thanks for the correction - I'll try and remember it now (but probably won't - the wrong name is very fixed in my mind))

          2. re: CDouglas

            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.

          3. I saw a TV segment where the host suggested that you limit the cheese selection to three varieties of the same type (goat, blue). I suppose so you can compare the tastes? What do you think about this?

            2 Replies
            1. re: GraydonCarter

              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.

              1. re: GraydonCarter

                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 (, matched with celery strips, a zingy tomato chutney and bread (good crispy crust, soft inside).