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5 tips for building a better cheeseboard, according to an expert


Cheese is a truly wonderful food. It doesn’t matter if it’s soft or firm in texture, grated over a bowl of fresh pasta or enjoyed as-is over a salad or sandwich, there’s a cheese for everyone. Stinky or perfumed, Italian or French, yellow or off-white.

You might like a gooey, gooey dish with lots of cheese tosses (like this kale three-cheese pizza), or maybe you’re more of a fan of a golden, crunchy cheese dish (like this baked chicken with red pepper pasta). parmesan).

Picking some grated cheese for a lasagna or one of our other 10 tastiest recipes isn’t a huge effort, but selecting the best options for a cheese board is a little more challenging. The nuances, flavors and intricacies of the cheese are deepened when this staple is savored on its own, with no application of heat or the inclusion of other ingredients to muddy the waters.

I recently spoke with Craig Gile, a popular cheese judge who is also the manager of Northwest Regional Sales at the Cabot Creamery Co-operative. He took Salon Food readers behind the scenes of the world of competitive cheesemaking and dairy.

Gile is a former Cabot cheese picker who tasted up to 200 cheese samples a day. In addition to judging contests, he gives retailers “sensory presentations” on how to choose the best cheeses.

If you’ve attended a wine tasting, the experience might sound somewhat familiar.

“I like that people think about what they’re tasting first. The vast majority of the time, we don’t treat eating as a cognitive exercise,” Gile told me. “I get people to look at the cheese, to feel the body of the cheese, to chew slowly, to think about what they’re tasting. Just focusing on the basic flavors is a great place to start. How salty do I think this cheese is? How sour or acid I think it is?”


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Have you ever shopped for an appetizer or a mezze or charcuterie plate or a cutting board and wondered how to buy better cheese at the supermarket? If so, you’re in luck: Gile also shared his expert advice for putting together a cheese plate, including pairing recommendations.

First, Gile points out one thing. Do not, I repeat, do not be intimidated.

“I’ve seen too many people overthink and stress about building cheesy plates,” she said. “Have fun.”

Now that you’re ready to enjoy, here are Gile’s five basic tips for building a better cutting board:

“Embrace variety. You don’t have to worry about cheeses going together unless you’re going for a theme. Choose a variety of ages, textures, looks, types of milk. Give your guests options and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.” schemes with something like Cabot Habaneros Cheddar cheese.”
“To add-on: Look at the jerky, nuts, chutneys, chutneys, jams, salt flakes.”
“Try to keep the cheese packaging and labels. You will have guests discovering a new cheese they love. Having the label/packaging handy is helpful for them if they want to buy cheese in the future.”
“Cheeses don’t bite. Cheeses they are the most passionate and engaging retail workers around. They live to give advice and cut samples. Even if you have no idea about cheese, they can help you.”

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