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Tips from a Master Cheesemaker

“How to compose a cheese platter”

générique fromage

When devising a cheese platter, it is a good idea to adapt your choice of cheeses to your guests' tastes, the theme and type of meal and, of course, to the season.

The single cheese option

Serving a single cheese can be a good solution and makes for an original and attractive cheese course. For a rustic meal in a relaxed setting, you could opt for a whole Brie.

In October, you could serve a Mont d'Or to be eaten with a spoon (serves 6 persons ideally).

 

The traditional platter

This is a more traditional option, but make for a delicious cheese course.

Choose, for example, 5 to 7 cheeses from different categories and terroirs.

Name Category Region
Valençay Goat's cheese Berry
Normandy Camembert Soft ripened Normandy
Saint-Nectaire Semi-soft Auvergne
Comté Hard Jura
Roquefort Blue cheese Rouergue
Maroilles Washed rind Nord
Chabichou Goat's cheese Poitou
Brie de Meaux Soft ripened Ile-de France
Salers Semi-soft Auvergne
Beaufort Hard Savoie
Bleu des Causses Blue cheese Languedoc
Livarot Washed rind Normandy
Pélardon Goat's cheese Languedoc
Brillat-Savarin Soft ripened Normandy
Ossau-Iraty Semi-soft P.Basque-Béarn
Abondance Hard Savoie
Fourme d’Ambert Blue cheese Auvergne
Munster Washed rind Alsace

 

The regional platter (three cheeses from a same region)

With a regional selection, you can bring all the delights of a same terroir together and enjoy a choice of beverage pairings from wine, cider, beer or eau-de-vie, not forgetting some traditional bread.

There are various possibilities to choose from based on the following indication: three cheeses from the same region and from three different cheese categories.

  • ComtéBleu de Gex – Vacherin and white Jura wine.
  • Camembert – Pont l'Evêque – Neufchâtel or Brillat-Savarin and Cider or Calavados.
  • Curé Nantais – Valençay – Crottin de Chavignol and Loire valley wine.
  • Saint-Nectaire – Fourme d'Ambert – Cantal and Saint-Pourçain.
  • Ossau-Iraty – Roquefort – Cabécou and Cahors, Fronton or Madiran.
  • Munster – Chaource – Barkas and Gewurtraminer.
  • Maroilles – Mimolette – Ash-coated Ricey and traditional beer from Northern France.
  • Reblochon – Abondance – Tomme de Savoie and Roussette or Chignin.

Another idea is to base your cheese platter around one "star" cheese, typically from the washed-rind category. Please feel free to ask us for advice.

The all-cheese meal

For a fascinating and delicious experience, you could also serve an all-cheese meal.

Serve consecutive platters of three to five cheeses from each category, making sure to respect the crescendo of flavours by following the order below:

  • Goat's cheeses (eg. Rocamadour, Chabichou, Valençay, Chevrotin, Ste Maure);
  • Soft ripened cheeses (eg. Brie de Meaux, Camembert, Coulommiers, Brie de Melun, Feuille de Dreux);
  • Hard and semi-soft cheeses (Comté, Beaufort, Ossau, Cantal, St-Nectaire);
  • Soft ripened washed-rind cheeses (eg. Munster, Livarot, Rollot, Maroilles, Epoisses);
  • Blue cheeses (eg. Fourme d'Ambert, Bleu des Causses, Roquefort, Bleu de Gex).

Don't be afraid to extend the panel of flavours by serving non-French cheeses such as Gorgonzola, old Gouda or Fribourg Gruyère, for example.

To accompany the meal, serve an assortment of finely sliced breads and a selection of raw vegetables of your choice to counterbalance the cheeses' strong flavours. We suggest that your end your meal with a sorbet.

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