Fonterra Food Services
resources : Professional Advice
Preparing a Cheeseboard
A well-prepared cheeseboard should always aim to provide a variety of tastes and textures and boast strong visual appeal.
Cheese is best served on a wooden board, glass piece or china platter. Apart from aesthetic considerations, the traditional wooden board is best since it allows the knife to sink in. Make sure you provide enough knives for each customer.
Choosing the cheese
Ideally you should offer at least three different types of cheese. Variations should be chosen with regard to:
* Cheese type
* Size
* Shape
* Colour
* Texture
* Flavours
* Aromas
Ensure that you have cheeses ranging from milk-tasting through to sharp and mouth-watering. This will provide not only variety in tastes but also in shapes and colours.
Choose quality cheese over quantity. Up to five cheeses is plenty.
We recommend including at least one cheese from each of these flavour categories:
Strong - aged cheddar, creamy blue
Mild - colby, mild cheddars, edam, gouda, creamy havarti, blue brie
Medium - tasty cheddar, camembert, brie, swiss
If possible, tailor your cheeseboard to the tastes of your customers. Some people do not like very strong cheddars or blue cheese - so offer three milder cheeses and one stronger cheese.
An odd number of cheeses presents better on the cheeseboard than an even number. Go with three or five pieces rather than four or six.
Presenting cheese
Larger pieces of cheese will retain their freshness and flavour for longer.
Cut cheeses as part of food preparation, then cover the portions until you are ready to use them.
Arrange the cheese in circles or rows according to the shape of your cheeseboard - ranging from the mildest to the strongest. This is the order in which they should be eaten. Allow a good space between the cheeses.
The flavour of warm cheese "blooms" while cheese served cold lacks flavour and character (just like cold red wine). Therefore, to enjoy its true flavour cheese must be served at room temperature. Cheese for your cheeseboard should sit for at least an hour before serving, preferably 2-3 hours.
A common mistake made is to over-garnish the cheeseboard - remember it should be the cheeses which are the focal point.
Garnishes can include grapes, fresh herb sprigs, nuts, thinly sliced tamarillo, kiwifruit, pear and melon. Vegetable sticks, gherkins and cherry tomatoes also look great.
* Creamy cheeses go well with pickles.
* Dried apricots and figs go well with Gouda.
* Offer sliced pear and walnuts or quince paste with blue cheese.
* Be careful to chose crackers or boutique breads that will not overpower the cheese. You can also serve crusty sourdough bread instead of crackers.
On the menu
Cheeses should be named and described on the dessert menu.

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