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Cheese Facts

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

There are hundreds, if not thousands of cheeses, from soft Bries, Camemberts, pasteurized, semi-soft, Cheddars, Goudas, Swiss, blue's, , hard cheeses such as Parmesan domestic and imported, Provolone's, etc.  

But, there are a few common preferred methods in serving cheeses and accompanied wines.

First, most all cheeses should be served at or close to room temperature; the bouquet of the cheese is more pronounced.  And, most all firm to hard cheeses benefit by breaking the cheese vs. cutting it; this exposes more surface area for the tongue to savor.

For example, Parmesan, Pecorino and Romano cheeses benefit from a spade-like cheese knife, such as:




hard cheese knife.jpg


These are designed to fracture the cheese instead of cutting it so all the little bumps and crevices yield a much more flavorful experience, like this:


parma cut.jpg


chs serve.jpg


You can discover a marked difference tasting a firm (Cheddar, Swiss, Gouda, etc) and hard (Parmesan, Pecorino, Romano) cheeses when it is fractured vs. cut - try it sometime!  Cut the cheese into sticks and eat one as-is, then break it in pieces and see if you notice any difference!  More flavor and more salts come out as your tastebuds have a much wider area to taste from!


What wine to serve?  Here is a guide matching cheese wine types:


And of course, in my opinion, any cheese benefits from smoking!

post #2 of 6

Dang Pop's I didn't know that is why they were shaped that way. Boy you learn something new on here everyday!

post #3 of 6
interesting. never too old to learn!
post #4 of 6

Thanks Pops -

One more thing to add about cheese selections for party buffets. You need to select cheeses for a buffet that can be cut and put on a cracker or just eaten with one hand.  

Having catered more than 100 parties we discovered that most folks come to the cheese section with a beverage in their hand. If they can cut and spread with one hand the cheese always goes quickly. If they have to set the drink down to cut or spread the cheese, we always have had lots of it left at the end to the party.


Some of the soft cheeses that work well are 





Goats Milk like Feta - farmer cheeses - fromage blanc



Also using a baked brie or equivalent is always populat  


Some of the harder cheeses that work are 

Parmesan - because you can break it off in chunks like Pops post shows  





Some of the ones we have had poor luck with are





Also the heavier "stinky" cheeses never do well at parties because of breath issues



These are just some additions to what Pops was talking about above.  Hope this helps with your Holiday parties 


post #5 of 6

Cheddar, Provolone, Jack and Swiss are very popular on the East coast because they are well known, cheap and available in every grocery store...But they are most commonly cut into 1 inch Cubes and served with toothpicks for easy one handed noshing. Summer sausage, Ring Bologna, Pepperoni and Salami or Ham cut in cubes are almost always close at hand...Some others that are gaining in popularity are Saint Andre', Humboldt Fog, Mobier, Comte, Raschera and Stilton, all are among my fav's...JJ

post #6 of 6

Thanks Jimmy 

I always tried to stay away from the cubes because they dry out over a few hour period, however they make a great grilled cheese sandwich or omelet  the days after the party so I will add them back into my list 

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