JOURNAL: A Proper Cheese Plate

Cheese plates, like the one I am eating now, are simple elegant and delicious, but there is a formula for maximum enjoyment. Here's my first draft of the perfect cheese plate.

Texture1 soft1 semi-soft1 hard
Flavor1 strong1 medium1 mild
Source2 cows 1 sheep or goat

STARCH1 white bread1 dark bread1 cracker or other

FRUIT1 stone fruit1 berry1 other

1 fresh1 dry1 processed

PROTEIN1 hard, salted meat1 nut

ADDITIONAL ITEMS honey, balsamic reduction, herb butter, maple butter, olives, pickled vegetables, etc.

As an afterthought, I dug up some articles on making a cheese plate:

Wikihow says have a theme [disagree], go with odd numbers [agree], Arrange your cheeses from mildest to strongest [lame], Add accompaniments [duh], and Pick a drink to go with it [to which I must ask, "only one?"]

Chow says diversify by regional origin as well as texture and source [good point, but not as crucial unless you are trying to impress someone, and it won't work], choose 4 cheeses including a semi-firm [I still like odd numbers and am fine with a semi-firm or semi-soft], plate according to strength of flavor [still lame, and I'm not going to arrange my cheese in a straight line regardless].

Artisinalcheese.com is broad but boring and commercial.

Food Network divides cheeses by production style (fresh, washed-rind, bloomy, pressed, and blue) which I found thought provoking.


Caitlin said...

I just had a cheese plate at The Wine Bar (yes that's what it's called) and it had fig jam (or maybe jelly... what's the difference?) that was awesome. Really, really good pairing.

Rogue Designs said...

Mmmm, cheese.

Amanda said...

The cheese plate we had at Frisee sucked the life out of me. I was not a fan.