Just Say Cheese

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Cheddar, Gruyere, Andres, and Brie, nobody loves cheese as much as me. Looking for an excuse to sip wine and feast? Cheese is a low prep, no- cook party where a little effort goes a long way.

Your game plan: Buy the cheese.  Skip the supermarket and go to a specialty store for the best selection. Pike Place Market has 3-5 specialty stores. Buy the sides such as, figs, chutney, honey, grapes, crackers, sun dried tomatoes, meats (if you like meat). My absolute favorite and must haves are fig spread, water wheels, fresh walnuts and dried fruit, which you can find at Whole Foods.

Make cheese labels: so guests can keep track of what they are sampling

Prep the display: Set the cheese out on a serving tray, wood cutting board or cheese stone. Have cheese cutting knifes or spreading knifes for a softer cheese.

The perfect cheese platter: It’s best to serve one from each category.

Blue: The most intense; Gorgonzola, Cashel blue, and stilton. My personal favorite; Blue Stilton

Semi firm: Subtle but rich; Cave-aged cheddar, Fontina. My personal favorite; Extra Sharp Vermon Cheddar or Goat Cheddar

Super Aged: Sharp and nutty; Parmigiano-reggiano, Asiago, Gouda, aged Gruyere. My personal favorite; Dubliner

Pungent: Stinky; Taleggio.

Mild: Soft and creamy; Fresh Chevre and Brie. My personal favorite; St. Andre’s and all Brie.

Other types & brands I love: Beecher’s Flagship (a mix between Cheddar and Gruyere), Blueberry Goat Cheese, Sharp cheddars, Wine Soaked and more.

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