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Cheese-aholics ? Do you Blue Cheese ? International Cheese Platters ?

foodeditormargaux Aug 23, 2012 07:40 AM

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.

  1. GraydonCarter Aug 24, 2012 11:37 PM

    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
      sunshine842 Aug 25, 2012 01:01 AM

      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
        Harters Aug 25, 2012 04:07 AM

        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).

      2. c
        CDouglas Aug 23, 2012 08:30 AM

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

        7 Replies
        1. re: CDouglas
          Harters Aug 23, 2012 08:50 AM

          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
            foodeditormargaux Aug 23, 2012 10:46 AM

            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
              Veggo Aug 23, 2012 10:51 AM

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

              1. re: foodeditormargaux
                Delucacheesemonger Aug 25, 2012 03:22 AM

                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.

              2. re: Harters
                Delucacheesemonger Aug 25, 2012 04:19 AM

                For searchers it is Stichelton

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                  Harters Aug 25, 2012 04:49 AM

                  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))

              3. re: CDouglas
                foodeditormargaux Aug 23, 2012 10:51 AM

                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.

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