It’s all about the cheese!
Today we chat with cheesemonger Anthony Femia from Maker & Monger at Prahran Market to get the inside word on how to craft a cheese platter. My key takeaway from this chat: eat cheese with gusto at anytime of day.
- consider the ‘weight’ of your cheese, that is, how heavily they land on the palate, and serve a mix of delicate and powerful cheeses
- let cheese come to room temperature before serving
- serve fruit: consider a mix of fresh and dried. Fresh or dried apple, pear and grapes are good. In summer, you could even serve barbecued peaches or nectarines – great with goat’s cheese
- quince paste is great, especially with a bitey cheddar or manchego, but consider alternatives such as blueberry paste and honey (a piece of honeycomb looks amazing on a platter)
- offer a different knife for each cheese
- provide a range of crackers and bread so people can experiment with different flavours and textures
What about wine?
- a crisp white, such as chenin blanc (more acidic) or soave (tending to dry) is lovely
- if you want to head more to sweet, dessert wine territory, try something with a little botrytis or a late harvest riesling
Our four cheeses are:
- Petit Chevrot from the Loire Valley, France. This soft French goat’s cheese is lightly matured (you’ll see Anthony point out the geotrichum, a light mould). Anthony mentions crottin or “little round” which describes the shape
- Stone & Crow Cheese Company’s Galactic from the Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia. This one week old cow’s milk cheese is ‘milk that’s just learnt to be cheese’ with a light, white mould. As Anthony says, this style of cheese is called robiola, and it relies on the flora in the milk itself to become cultured
- Tomme de Chebris from the midi-Pyrenees, France. This is a semi-hard goat’s milk cheese from the mountainous region close to the Basque country. It’s matured for six months and has a sweet, lactic flavour with caramel coming through. Eat with fruit paste, like this blueberry paste
- Berrys Creek Riverine Blue from Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. This blue-vein cheese is made with buffalo milk. Fun fact: blue vein cheeses are the only ones that continue to mature once cut