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Stir it up magazine November December 2015

Cheeseboard How to create the perfect Leo Guarneri Alex Guarneri By Alex and Leo Guarneri, authors of ‘A Year in Cheese’ and owners of the acclaimed Androuet restaurant and cheese shop in Spitalfields, London Perl Las Comté 32 months The best fruits to serve with a cheeseboard are pears or grapes, because their acidity cuts through the natural creaminess of the cheese. If neither are in season, just select an acidic fruit. In France, we generally serve baguette with cheese. In the UK and US, crackers tend to be preferred. In France, for some people it’s wrong to eat butter with cheese, for others it’s a must (it really depends on where you’re from). We think that you should go with what makes you happy, and that goes for the cheese on the board too. Bonne dégustation! PERFECT CHRISTMAS CHEESEBOARD: • Soft cow’s milk cheese: Mont d’Or Vacherin from Jura (France) • Medium hard ewe’s milk cheese: Tomme du Fédoux from Languedoc- Rousillon (France) • Hard cheese: Comté 32 months from Jura (France) • Washed rind cow’s milk cheese: Pont l’Evêque from Normandie (France) • Blue cow’s milk: Stilton from Nottinghamshire (UK) Mont d’Or Vacherin Tomme de Montagne Langres Camembert Wine recommendations • With fresh cheese (such as Mozzarella and Brillat-Savarin), go for sparkling white wines. • With fresh goats’ cheese (such as Chabichou), go for a dry and minerally white wine. • With soft cheese with a bloomy rind (such as Brie and Camembert), go for red wines with subtle tannins. • With mature goats’ cheese (such as Sainte Maure de Touraine), go for a light and fruity red. • With blue cheese (such as Bleu d’Auvergne or Stilton), go for dessert wines or fortified red wines. • With semi-hard cheese (such as St Nectaire and Morbier), go for light- to medium-bodied red wines. • With mountain hard cheese (such as Comté or Gruyère), go for oxidised white wines from Jura, or pair with a sherry. • With cheddar-style hard cheese (such as Montgomery or Laguiole), >> Preparing a good cheeseboard is all about balance. Firstly, it looks most attractive when there are an odd number of cheeses on the board: three, five or seven. Secondly, try to have a soft, a hard and a blue cheese; then to try to have different types of milk – cow, sheep and goat. You need to think about balancing the taste and texture of the various cheeses. For quantity, we recommend thinking about total grams per person, then dividing that by the number of cheeses on the board. If you’re planning a cheeseboard at the end of a meal, you’ll need about 80g (3oz) per person. For a cheese dinner served with some charcuterie and nibbles, it’s about 120g (4.5oz). Then for a cheese-only dinner, it’s about 200g (7oz) per person. So if you want 120g per person and three cheeses, allow 40g of each cheese per person. To store cheese, keep it in its original packaging in the vegetable box of your fridge (the drawer in the bottom) and take it out 30 minutes before serving. ADVICE FROM THE EXPERTS Délice des Cabasses go for crisp white wines or light/medium red wines. • With washed rind cheese (such as Epoisses or Petit Livarot), go for red wine with low tannins. • Finally, with a cheeseboard, go for white wines over reds because the tannins in red wines accentuate the saltiness of the cheeses. We’re giving away two copies of A Year in Cheese: A Seasonal Cheese Cookbook by Alex and Leo Guarneri. See Country Club (page 19) for more details. NOV / DEC 2015 17


Stir it up magazine November December 2015
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