When you are done with your main course but not with your wine, then instead of a sweet dessert, a cheese platter can be a much better option. If you do crave something sweet, then you can order a dessert wine, a port or a sherry to accompany the cheese, or you can add some sweet accompaniments to your cheese platter such as honeys, jams and figs. Below we’ll give you five cheeses that served together will give you such a full range of flavours, that you wonder why you’d ever go back to sweet only again. We also provide you with some suggestions for great accompaniments to serve them with.
Gouda cheese, named after the city of Gouda in The Netherlands, is one of the most popular cheeses in the world. For the real cheese-lovers, the aged Gouda is the best option. The more time this cheese is aged the more it develops it’s caramel, robust flavour and its crunchiness. Look for a Gouda aged for 2 years or more. Aged Gouda tastes great with balsamic vinegar or a ginger and mango chutney.
Called the ‘cheese of kings and popes’ in France, Roquefort cheese is typically aged for five months. It has a strong and salty taste (not to mention the strong smell). It’s texture is creamy and crumbly. Roquefort goes very well with honey and maple syrup.
When you serve this cheese, not only do you serve a very tasty one but also an ancient one. The recipe has roots that go back before the 10th century. Different from roquefort, this cheese has a strong smell, but a rather mild fruity, but rich taste. To prevent mold infestation from forming, Taleggio is washed weekly with seawater and if you were to try the rind of this cheese you would taste the salt. Taleggio pairs very well with fruit and honey.
Tomme de Chevre Aydius
If you would like to serve at least one cheese based on goat’s milk, then we strongly recommend the Tomme de Chèvre Aydius. Tomme is a generic term for this type of cheese produced from skimmed milk after the cream has been removed, which makes them also low in fat. This type of cheese adopts the name of the place of origin, which for this Tomme de chèvre is a little town in the French Pyrenees called Aydius. This cheese is aged for about six months and gives a fruity and grassy taste. Tomme de chèvre Aydius goes well with many accompaniments, ranging from extra virgin olive oil to dried or fresh fruits.
Finally, we recommend adding this cheese made of sheep’s milk to the cheese platter. The p’tit Basque is a semi-hard cheese which is aged for at least 70 days. It has similarities with the Spanish Manchego cheese, albeit with a milder and more delicate sweet flavour. The p’tit Basque goes very well with prunes. May we even suggest bacon-wrapped prunes?
We believe that these five cheeses together provide your guests with a full range of flavours that would make the dinner perfect. We selected a range from old cheeses to young cheeses, from cheeses that are mild in taste to those that are strong and powerful. We also included a cheese made of sheep’s milk and one made of goat’s milk. Although we provided accompaniments for all five cheeses, selecting two or three accompaniments would do. Remember to serve your cheese always at room temperature to get the full flavours out. Enjoy!