One of the most difficult and intimidating things about planning a sophisticated party (aside from walking into the wine shop), is putting together a cheese plate. Let’s face it, sometimes cubes of cheddar, swiss and jack just don’t convey the image you are trying to project. Looking into a cheese case can be overwhelming, but the cheesemonger WANTS to help you.
Blaak, the artisanal cheese that we make at Beekman 1802, is unlike any other cheese currently produced in the world. We wanted to create a cheese that would wow all of the senses—visually and texturally as well as the palate. You can put together a cheese tray for your party that does the same. Our tips for assembling the perfect plate goes something like this:
Something old (a hard, aged cheese–like manchego or parmesan)
Something new (a soft, young cheese like chevre or brie)
Something stinky (yes there are people who love these cheeses)
Something bleu (a great bleu cheese rounds out any cheeseplate)
Having a cheese from each category will wow every guest and make you look like a true afficionado.
One thing we hate about shopping for cheese is the lack of creative accompaniments. Most anywhere you go, you’ll find the usual fig preserves and quince. Both good, but there’s so much more you could do. Every season when the first wheels of Blaak are ready to come out of the cave we introduce a new condiment to serve along with it to celebrate the occasion. Last year’s selection was Blaak Onion Jam, and then year we’ve create Rosemary Creamed Honey from the hives on the farm. A good rule of thumb when choosing accompaniments is “opposites attract”: A hard cheese likes something soft like a baguette whereas a soft cheese is perfect on a crispy cracker. A salty cheese begs for something sweet like a jam or preserve and a dry cheese loves a serving a juicy fruit.
Of course, our first pick is going to be a product from our own farm.
Otherwise, we always recommend making as many selections as you can from the local producers. Most cheeseshops and even larger grocery chains will have a section devoted to local or regional cheeses. Support your local farmers!
Try Blaak for yourself. Click here