Your cheese board can be as simple as one cheese with a couple of pairings, or more elaborate like the one we prepared for this year's Toronto Vegan Social. Here are some simple tips and ideas to take holiday entertaining up a notch or two.
Selecting the Cheese
How Much is Enough?
Choose two or three preserved condiments that pair well with your cheese selections. A few of my personal favourites are: Garlic Scape and Jalapeño Jelly from The Garlic Pantry, Pickled Beans from Top Shelf Preserves, Caper and Kalamata Tapenade from The Garlic Box and Sun Dried Kalamata Olives.
Other sweet and salty foods pair well with your fauxmages as well. Try adding some Gusta Sausage rounds (their new Montrealien style is fantastic), Yves deli slices or veggie paté. Dried apricots or figs a make welcome addition to traditional grapes. Spiced or Candied nuts are also a fun addition.
Have a separate cheese knife for each cheese.
Place your fauxmage directly onto the cheeseboard from the refrigerator. They can soften and be a bit of a challenge to transfer onto the board if they've been out of the fridge for a while.
Serve the Brie style flavours at room temperature. The flavour is mellower and the texture creamier when they are a bit softer.
Use layers and platters of different heights for interest and impact.
If you're having several guests put place the cheese platters on more than one table to avoid guest gridlock.