Serving & Storing Cheese:
Guidelines for Home
by Max McCalman and David Gibbons
- Never serve cheeses too cold; it masks all their wonderful flavors and aromas. This is the biggest mistake cheese novices make. In general, if they're in the fridge, give them at least 1 hour out of it to make sure they come to room temperature.
- Blue cheeses may get bluer quite fast, so they can be given less than an hour out of the fridge before serving.
- For soft, ripe, gooey, runny cheeses, provide a separate plate onto which they can melt and expand.
- Sharp steak knives and/or small- to medium-sized kitchen knives are all you need to cut cheeses.
- If you're using a board for cutting or presentation, be sure it is made out of an inert material: hardwood works well as do different types of nonreactive plastic and glass or stone surfaces.
- Cut all cheeses fresh; don't precut.
- Consider keeping separate knives and other utensils for each cheese or cheese type.
- Keep utensils clean by wiping them with a clean cloth napkin or thick paper towel immediately after cutting each cheese.
- Slice harder cheeses into smaller, thinner pieces.
- Slice semisoft cheeses in long wedges.
- Slice soft cheeses in shorter, thicker wedges.
- Include a portion of the rind (if applicable).
- Serve cheeses on dinner or salad plates with dinner knife and dinner (or salad or dessert) fork; add a spoon if they're gooey.
- Rewrap cheeses as they were wrapped in the store, with semipermeable paper touching the cheese and plastic wrap encasing the package; use a zip-locking bag or some scotch tape if necessary.
- Storing most cheeses, particularly firm to semisoft types, at cool room temperature conditions, away from any sources of heat or light, is fine for probably longer than you would imagine.
- For refrigerator storage, treat your cheeses like bread or any other fragile food you don't want to dry out: Put them in the vegetable drawer—or perhaps the smaller cold-cuts tray—if possible alongside other foods that provide some moisture (vegetables and/or other cheeses).
Lessons for Connoisseurship from a Maître Fromager
- by Max McCalman and David Gibbons
- Clarkson Potter 2010
- Hardcover, 384 pages; U.S. $40.00
- ISBN-10: 0307406482
- ISBN-13: 9780307406484
- Reprinted by permission.
Buy Mastering Cheese: Lessons for Connoisseurship from a Maître Fromager
This page created April 2011