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How to Entertain With French Cheese

Cheese-plate-serving-pairingServing Tips

Think quality, not quantity. Your cheese plate should showcase anywhere from three to five cheeses.
But make sure to have enough! Plan on 4 to 6 ounces of cheese per person.
Choose a variety of cheese styles. Offer everything from creamy soft to hard, and select different milk types.
Be timely. For peak freshness and flavor, shop for cheese close to your event.
Ask the experts for help. Your local fromager can suggest complementary flavors and textures to create a harmonious cheese platter.
Give it the right presentation. Bring cheese to room temperature before serving (approximately 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size). Arrange cheeses in a clockwise fashion from mildest to most pungent and complex.

Pairing Food and Drink

Pair properly. In general, pair a mild cheese with a lighter, milder wine and a more robust, stronger cheese with a bolder wine.
Stick to a region. French wines, red and white, from the same region as your cheeses are a natural choice.
Think outside the wine bottle. Beer, cider, coffee and liqueurs can also complement The Cheeses of France.
Offer variety. Slice apples or pears into thin wedges and arrange with selected cheeses. Include figs, blackberries, golden raisins and dried apricots for a sweet, exotic complement. Add a healthy crunch with a variety of nuts. Go gourmet with quince paste, plum butter or chutney on the side, or drizzle a little honey on pungent cheeses for a dash of sweetness. Offer toast points, fruit and nut crostini or thin slices from a baguette.
Remember, the cheese is the star. If serving crackers, select mild styles that won’t compete with the cheese.
Anybody else dying to throw a wine (or maybe cider!) and cheese party? I’ve got all kinds of ideas now. And there are even more to be found on The Cheeses of Europe website, in case we’ve only whetted your appetite for cheesy knowledge! Kristen

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