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21 August, 2013

How to Create a Cheese Platter

Fall is in the air and I can't wait for it to get here! How do I know? Fresh figs are back in the grocery store! Yaaay! I have been snacking on my favorite combo this week...figs and bleu cheese! Yum! And I was reminded of a post that I did a couple of years ago on creating a cheese platter...so I thought I would share it with you again! Hope you enjoy it!

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT How to Create a Cheese Platter I gave you a little hint at this post last week when I asked if you could guess what cows, sheep and goats have in common. The answer...their milk is used to make my all-time favorite food…cheese! So today I am creating a cheesescape to show you! I was already a cheese lover before I lived in France, but my time there made me hard-core! lol You cannot help but love cheese in a country that has over 400 recognized varieties of the stuff!

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT How to Create a Cheese PlatterIt’s my daughter’s birthday weekend, so I pulled out my French Limoges cheese plates for the occasion. And…the vintage-inspired French tea towels that I made last week will go perfectly with the plates!

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French Tea Towels Each plate stars one of the milk producers and some of the cheeses that are made from their milk. This one stars sheep and shows the cheeses made from ewe's milk, among them my favorite…Roquefort!

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French Tea TowelsIn the foreground of the cow plate is another favorite of mine…Emmental, or Swiss cheese, as it is known to most Americans.

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Vintage French Tea Towels Goat cheese is simply called chèvre in French, just the same as the word for goat! My favorite is chèvre cendré, in which the cheese is covered with a powdered vegetable ash, but it is virtually impossible to find here.

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT How to Create a Cheese PlatterHere is the fourth plate, displaying a little map of France and the geographic regions associated with the cheeses. The French government strictly controls the use of the names of the cheeses and confines them to the region where they are actually produced. It’s similar to the idea for us as Southerners that Vidalia onions must come from Vidalia, Georgia!

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT How to Create a Cheese Platter I will use this plate for serving the baguette…because you can’t have French cheese without French bread! Some people like crackers…but for me, it has to be a crusty baguette…bien sûr!

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT How to Create a Cheese PlatterOf course, there must be wine! I have chosen a good French red wine...Beaujolais-Villages…because it tends to be a medium-bodied red and I am shooting for the middle with my three cheeses. I must add that I am no wine aficionado, so you might consult a wine and cheese pairing website such as this one.

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT How to Create a Cheese Platter I have also included some butter in my wonderful silverplate butter dome…a favorite $6.00 Goodwill find a while back. I’ll explain more about the butter in just a moment. The basket is a recent GW find for $3.00. I was really excited to find it since I had been admiring it on several blogs!

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT How to Create a Cheese Platter And here is the most important part…the cheese platter! I am using three cheeses from three different milk sources and I have arranged them from mildest to strongest starting at the bottom going clockwise, as is the traditional method, although some people prefer to start at the top. I have also added a variety of fresh fruit…brown turkey figs, Bosc pears and red seedless grapes…to complement the cheeses.

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT How to Create a Cheese Platter The mildest cheese is the chèvre, made from goat’s milk.

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT How to Create a Cheese Platter Next is the Emmentaler, or Swiss cheese, made from cow’s milk...

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT How to Create a Cheese Platter …and finally comes the strongest and my favorite, Roquefort, made from ewe’s milk. In fact, it is so strong that my French friends spread a little butter on the bread before adding the cheese to soften the taste a little bit. As for me, I can eat it straight! And, in case you are wondering how Roquefort is different from bleu, bleu cheese is made from cow’s milk and has a different  mold added to create the blue veins. None of the three cheeses is actually extremely mild, but my family tends to like the stronger cheeses.

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT How to Create a Cheese Platter Baby Kitty has a few tips for creating a cheese platter that he learned from his French friends:
~Take the cheese out of the fridge a couple of hours before serving it, cover it and let it stand. You can’t taste it when it’s cold!
~Serve an odd number of cheeses. It just looks better on the plate.
~Have a different knife for each cheese so that the tastes of the cheeses don’t mingle.
~Place them on the platter from mildest to strongest going clockwise.
~Leave the cheese whole and let your guests cut off what they want. It looks too much like it came from the deli if you pre-slice it.
~You should never cut off the pointed end (called the nose) of the cheese. As a guest, you would always cut your portion of the cheese so that you preserve its shape. Also...never dig the cheese out and leave the rind! Just a couple of cheese faux pas to avoid!
~More tips and suggestions for creating a cheese platter can be found here.

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT How to Create a Cheese Platter And there you have my cheesescape! Now if you will excuse me, I have company coming and we have some…er…props to clean up! Yummy!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed having a little peek at my cheese platter! Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party , Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday , Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday , The Stories of A2Z for Tutorials and Tips Tuesday , Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday , A Stroll thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday , My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday's Treasures, The Everyday Home for Home{work} Wednesday , Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays , The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursdays , No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays , Stone Gable for Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits on Thursdays , My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday , French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday , Common Ground for Be Inspired on Fridays , The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday , Craftberry Bush for the Inspiration Gallery on Friday , Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
See you next time! À la prochaine!
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20 comments:

  1. Oh I love a cheese platter and some fruit. Definitley my favorite thing of all. This looks wonderful. Hugs, Marty

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  2. Yum!! Nothing better than fruit and cheese! Great tips, lovely table!

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  3. You are awesome. I so happy you reposted this wonderful cheese platter. I love the tea towels too. Beautiful plates and as always Baby Kitty helping you with the details. You your frenchy blog...

    Betty @ My Cozy Corner

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  4. Yum! beautiful set up. Love the cheese platter and plates...Christine

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  5. Looks delicious - and absolutely irresistible!

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  6. Such a tasty post, Debbie. I may have to rush into the kitchen and fix a cheese plate for us to enjoy before dinner. Your plates and napkins are the perfect classy touch. '-)

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  7. Debbie,
    If only I could "Mr. Ed" to enjoy this cheese platter as a light luncheon meal,
    but alas, if our menu doesn't include MEAT. . .he says it's NOT a meal!!!
    I love cheese and fruit and your combinations are superb!!!
    I'm admiring your tea towels
    and thinking I might have enough material from my POSH Pillow to attempt one!!!
    Always inspiring!!!
    Fondly,
    Pat

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  8. I love everything about this post -- the linens, the dishes, and of course, the fabulous cheese. I've also been adding fresh figs to my afternoon charcuterie and cheese plate, as well. I love it when they are in season.

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  9. bite your tongue ----fall, can wait. We finally got our summer better late than never

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  10. Oh, Debbie! Once again, you have whisked me away to France! (and Baby Kitty has taught me more about cheese serving than I EVER knew :) Merci BK!) The closest I get to France is my kitchen when I bake Madeleines or Macarons!

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  11. I am a 'mild' cheese lover and can't wait to explore some cheese in Paris. Of course I'll add baguettes and wine!

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  12. This is my favourite meal too. I found your post fascinating. You are most welcome to link this up at my HOME party if you wish. There are many who do not know the significance of cheese and the arrangement of it. Enjoy your day.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  13. You're cheese platter is making me sooo hungry! Nice selection of cheese, and love your plates and tea towels, and the way you lined the basket with lettuce. Hope you have a great weekend.

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  14. Wow! This looks deee-licious! We’d love to have you share your recipe at our weekly Super Saturday Link Party ! Deb @ madefrompinterest.net

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  15. Yum! Fruit and cheese. Perfect! Love those dishes too.

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  16. Your cheese platter looks wonderful! I love how you paired the cheeses with the figs, pears and grapes! Looks delicious! And I love those plates! :)

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  17. I have poked around your site, but missed this one. So glad you re-posted it. I love trying new cheeses. I thought it cute that you said you should not cut the nose off the cheese. Once at an office party one of the secretaries cut the nose off of every piece of cheese. People were giving her the evil eye. I kind of cringe when I think about it even now and when I think of her that is what I remember.

    Happy Birthday to your daughter.

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  18. I love fruit and cheese! I am having some friends over tomorrow and I think I will serve fruit and cheese!

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  19. Looks great and good info for we cheese lovers!

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Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie