Cheeses of Europe
Earlier in the season, I met up with a group of other bloggers and we were treated to an amazing presentation by the company Cheeses of Europe. They presented us with four amazing cheeses and told us of their origins, flavor complex, and more. We even paired them with wines and other goodies! Needless to say, it was a great evening. But the best part? Taking home additional cheeses and a board to enjoy at home! Cue the most delicious blog post I have ever worked on.
For the perfect cheese board, you’re going to need some great cheeses. Cheeses of Europe puts the emphasis on French cheeses as well as French dairy farmers and cheese firms. Basically, they specialize in everything that goes into making a cheese for you to enjoy. The goal? To create more demand for high quality French cheese in the American market. So, naturally, they came to us bloggers.
Here, I’ve got a guide to creating your own amazing cheese board at home. Pictured is enough cheese for one cheese-crazy very hungry blogger looking to take photos and then have a delicious lunch [ahem, me] or two more civilized cheese tasters. Let’s go on into the world of gourmet cheese and learn how to bring a little bit of France right into our own dining rooms.
What You’ll Need
I’ve got four cheeses for this board, all of which were straight from France. My goal was to cover a variety of flavors and textures to showcase just how amazing cheese is.
Next up, make sure you gather accompaniments for the cheese. For this board, I kept it pretty simple with crackers, green olives, and green grapes. You want a little something sweet for strong cheese and something salty for a mild cheese. The goal is to counterbalance the cheese and provide something for all palettes.
Also wine. If you’re serving a variety of cheeses, a variety of wines should be offered as well. Estimate 1/2 bottle per guest partaking in the cheese to make sure everyone is adequately covered. For this kind of board, I would make sure to have a white and a red to pair with each cheese. A rose would nestle in nicely as well. Since there is a wide variety of cheese, you can also use a wide variety of flavors in the wine. I am also of the belief that you should just drink what you love, pairings be damned.
This is the best part! Let’s learn all about what I’m putting on this cheese board. Because it’s amazing. I’m going to talk about these from mildest to strongest flavors.
Brie. This cow’s milk cheese is possibly the best known cheese of France. Its Cheese Mascot, if you will. Light, creamy, and delicious with all kinds of fruits. Pair this with crackers, figs, and more for an amazing combination of flavor. Recommended wines include light and fruity reds or crisp whites.
Comte. This cow’s milk cheese is, hands down, my favorite cheese of all time. I made everything I possibly could with it while living in England where I would pick up a fresh wedge every weekend at Borough Market. Delicious as a nibble, melted into gourmet mac n cheese, and every other possible way, this cheese is my favorite. I love pairing it with olives and crackers since it’s so good in many dishes. Paired with a dry white or light red, this cheese is wonderful across the board.
Mimolette. Another cow’s milk cheese for the board! The bright orange color adds a nice pop in your array. And oh boy is it delicious. A hard cheese, the nutty flavors in this delight pair well with a good hearty red wine or even an ale! I honestly enjoy just eating this one on its own since it’s so marvelous.
Raclette. Our final cheese on the board, and another cow’s milk cheese. Think hearty with this cheese, served melted on bread or with root veggies. for this board, eat a sliver with a cracker and an olive for sure. This cheese is creamy in texture and has wonderful nutty flavors to it.
But just how do you serve these wonderful cheeses? Well, on a board of course! I love the one gifted to me by Cheeses of Europe as it has the different cheese names right on the board. It can be a bit small for more than one person, though. Get creative with your presentation! A slab of marble or granite, a wooden cutting board. Really anything can be a good cheese board if you serve it correctly.
Take the cheeses and put them out in order from mildest to strongest so that your guests can progress down the board. You can pair the recommended snacks alongside the cheeses or on a separate platter entirely. Really however you wish based on spacing and preference.
As for the wines, keep them nearby and use a glass that isn’t necessarily specific to the type of wine. You’ll want something that can be used again and again in case your guests want to sample multiple pairings.
Seriously, all of these cheeses are absolutely amazing. I loved sampling all of them and then experimenting with my own pairings and creations at home. Cheeses of Europe’s website has an amazing guide to all of their fabulous cheeses including where you can find them and what you should pair with them. I highly recommend checking it out and learning more about some truly wonderful food.
Do you have a favorite cheese? What are some of your favorite pairings? I want to hear all your cheesy thoughts in the comments below!