Have you ever watched Gilmore Girls? If not, then stop reading this right now and go watch it all on Netflix. If you have, then you know about Friday night dinners. I was watching this amazing show the other day and during one of their famous Friday night dinners Emily served a cheese plate. I've always thought cheese plates were expensive and way out of my league, but the idea flurried inside of me for a couple of days and I knew I needed to try one out. The Farmer and I had supper at home last night and since I was making soup I decided to give the cheese plate a try. The Farmer needed more substance than just soup. This post is dedicated to my first cheese plate, ever!
T H E A N A T O M Y O F M Y C H E E S E P L A T E
I first tried brie cheese in my Freshman French class. We had a food day where our teacher cooked traditional French cuisine and brought it to class for us to try. I used Alouette Brie cheese and it was very good. Brie is a great cheese for beginner cheese tasters because of its creamy and familiar texture. It's also important to note that in real life situations where you are presented with a cheese plate, you are expected to eat the white rind that lines the outside of the cheese, but since it was just my husband and I, I didn't force him to do this.
I went with Hickory Farms Summer Sausage. I adore summer sausage. But, any sausage or meat would do and it all depends on the cheese and your taste buds.
When making a cheese plate you should include something sweet. Through my research, I learned that customarily grapes or apple slices are used. This sweet flavor helps clean your palette, making it easier to taste and judge different flavor combinations. I used green and red grapes in my cheese plate.
If you know anything about poetry, the vehicle of a metaphor is the image that carries the weight of the comparison being made. It's a similar situation with a cheese plate. The vehicle is what carries the weight, taste and texture of your cheese to your mouth and adds a positive taste to your experience. I used Town House Sea Salt Pita Chips and Private Selection's Wheat Entertainment Crackers as my vehicles.
Normally during a cheese tasting or while enjoying a cheese plate, you will have a glass of wine handy. I am not 21 yet so my cheese plate did not include wine. From what I've read, brie cheese is paired best with champagne or white wine.
My Favorite Combinations
I tried a couple different combinations but my two favorites were as follows:
1. I paired the brie cheese with the wheat entertainment crackers, the summer sausage and I ate red grapes on the side to clean my palette.
2. I paired the brie cheese with the sea salt pita chips and put a green grape on top to mix the sweet with the tangy and salty flavors.
I really loved putting this together and if you're in the mood for something different at supper time or if you're having your friends over for an evening, this would be a great way to start conversations and bring some great taste to your night!