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Seven simple tips for how to serve a gourmet cheese course

Seven Simple Tips For How To Serve A Gourmet Cheese Course

Whether you are hosting a soiree or a casual get-together this holiday, your mission is to provide your guests with warm hospitality, lively conversation and a delectable spread of food and drink. Whether the menu is complicated or simple it better be delicious. Serving a sumptuous gourmet cheese course is perfect as a starter or centerpiece of the meal. Not only is the preparation simple (no cooking!) but like fine wine, serving a gourmet cheese course can be mystifying. How to select an array of cheeses? What sort of foods to serve alongside? Not to mention the question of what to drink. Relax. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to serving a cheese course. Just keep in mind a few simple considerations.
1. A cheese course is about observing and enjoying contrasting and complementary flavors. For a foolproof gourmet cheese course, select 3 — 5 cheeses that vary in texture and flavor.
2. For an even more mind blowing cheese experience, serve accompaniments such as juicy grapes, briny olives and crunchy warmed nuts. These little tidbits add even more distinct tastes and enhance the epicurean experience.

3. Cold cheese is unhappy cheese. Before serving the cheese, allow it to come to room temperature (about an hour). This lets the flavors emerge to their fullest. It may be tempting to sneak a bite but will be well worth the wait.
4. Keep the cheeses looking and tasting their best until you are ready to serve. Cover with wax paper or plastic wrap so they do not dry out.
5. Save the mingling for the party. Use a separate knife for each cheese so the flavors do not mix.
6. That bold blue cheese may be your favorite but save the best for last or it may be the only thing you taste. Be sure to start with the mildest cheese and progress to the sharpest. This allows your palate to adjust to the increase in flavors.
7. Wines are meant to cleanse the palate, wash away the tongue-coating richness of the cheese and prepare the mouth for the next bite. It’s important that the selections don’t overwhelm the cheese and vice versa. Essentially, you’ll want to match wine and cheese of the same intensity level. Just remember «like for like».

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