Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Katie Carter, cheesemonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)
A cheese plate doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be as simple as one boss cheese paired with the perfect wine or a flight of various cheeses. Building a cheese plate should never be a daunting task. It’s fun, easy, and takes no time at all. By all means, choose the cheeses that you (or guests) like but try to keep a few things in mind before plating.
Mix up textures. Unless you are going for a theme that will dictate texture (i.e. aged pecorinos), you should try to vary the textures from soft to firm. There’s a huge range of textures in cheese so this is relatively simple. If you have a super runny or goopy cheese, contain it so it does not get too messy and provide a spoon.
Include different milk types. For a nice range of flavors, choose at least three out of the four options we have here in the States: goat, cow, sheep, or water buffalo. There are many blends out there, too.
Offer cheese of various origins. Again, unless you have a country theme (i.e. all French), try to pick cheeses from many sources. These days it is very easy to find cheese from many countries.
Plate the cheeses in order of strength of flavor. You never want to start with a blue or washed rind style, which will overpower the flavors of anything gentler. Provide a separate serving tool for each cheese to keep the cheeses clean and flavors separated. If you are choosing one wine or beer to pair with the whole plate, pick something that’s relatively friendly to all of them.
Fresh or dried fruit (other than citrus), nuts, olives, and bread are all great accompaniments. You can also serve honey, chutneys, jams, or preserves on the side.
Here’s what I am enjoying this week (all pictured):
This pasteurized Ayrshire cow’s milk cheese comes from one of the most innovative cheesemakers in the States, Jasper HIll Farm. In the soft ripened style, this cheese has a fresh milky flavor complimented by mushrooms.
A soft, pudgy goat’s milk cheese from central Portugal. This is a “torta” style cheese made by coagulating fresh milk with the cardoon thistle, a naturally vegetarian coagulant. The final cheese is rich and vegetal with a thick, creamy mouth feel.
A semi soft, raw sheep’s milk cheese from Castelcivita in southern Italy. This supple cheese offers clean hay and lanolin flavors. An excellent example of a well made Italian pecorino.
This aged, raw cow’s milk cheese is absolutely beautiful. Aged for eight months, this cheese is big and bold! Made by a third generation cheesemaker in north eastern Switzerland, Holzhofer is rich, nutty, and complex. As a bonus, the firm, dense paste has those lovely crunchy protein crystals.
Show me your plate! Construct a cheese plate, take a decent pic, and send it to [email protected]. I’ll try to include it in the next column. Have a great weekend!
Katie Carter is Arlington’s first and only ACS Certified Cheese Professional. She has worked in the cheese industry for ten years as a cheesemaker, cheesemonger, and educator. She can be found on Twitter @AfinaCheese. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
Photo credit: Steve Lee
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 5266 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…
A water rescue operation is underway along Four Mile Run after reports of a drunk man falling down an embankment. The incident happened shortly before 4 p.m. behind the Virginia…
With the Yellow Line bridge and tunnel work complete, Metro is upping service on the line. Starting Sunday, Yellow Line trains will arrive every eight minutes all day, the transit…
In honor of the one-month anniversary of this article, we give you a new Mike Mount cartoon. In case you don’t get the reference, it also riffs on some of…
Join MoCA Arlington Summer Camps at Marymount University and learn the fundamentals of handbuilding, throwing on a wheel, glazing, and much more. In this two-week course, students will explore hand building techniques, wheel throwing, and strengthen ideas that exemplify individual artist expression guided by professional working artists. Students of all skill levels are welcome!
Visit MoCA Arlington’s Website here and the registration page to secure your space today!
Please join us on Saturday, June 3, from 2 to 4 pm for the Glencarlyn Home Tour in Arlington’s historic Glencarlyn neighborhood. Among the featured homes will be a sparkling new home by A&N Builders at 5604-4th St. South. The inviting front porch opens to a light-filled space featuring high ceiling, wood floors, gas fireplace, Pella windows, Shrock cabinets, Quartz countertop, and JennAir appliances. Doors from the family room open to a large covered porch with a few steps to the level, landscaped rear yard. Upstairs, there are four bedrooms, three bathrooms, laundry room, and linen storage. The big lower level has a rec room, gym space, and a fifth bedroom and bathroom plus even more storage. After leaving the home, stroll to the Ball-Sellers home, the oldest residence in Arlington, the community gardens at the library, Carlin Hall, and the 94 acre Glencarlyn Park. A lovely way to while away a late spring afternoon.
Homebuying 101: Steps to Getting Pre-Approved
Are you ready to jump into homeownership or started considering it but don’t know where to start? Financial preparation is key when thinking about purchasing your first home and the first step to getting pre-approved.
Join ACFCU’s mortgage loan officers
4th of July Celebration & Fireworks
Treat yourself this Independence Day with a world-class, private 4th of July extravaganza at the Military Women’s Memorial – a premier National Capital Region site.
Great food, fun, and the best views of Washington DC’s spectacular fireworks display. Relax, enjoy,