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Gone are the days of serving American cheese on white bread. Now mealtimes are more exciting thanks to the wide variety of gourmet cheeses which come in many different textures and flavors. Gourmet cheeses can comprise the appetizer, main course, or even dessert.
Serving gourmet cheese is an art form unto itself. You shouldn’t mix more than five cheeses at a meal. Make a good impression by serving the cheese on a marble slab or silver tray. Do not crowd the tray with bread or crackers. Use separate containers for both storing and serving gourmet cheese because mild cheese can absorb the flavors of the stronger varieties. If you like, blend the gourmet cheese with sliced onions or fresh fruit such as grapes or strawberries. This provides great visual as well as gastronomical appeal.
Gourmet cheese can be served at any point of the meal, but if used as an appetizer, it should be followed by a light meal since cheese itself is filling. Likewise, gourmet cheese can follow a light meal as a desert course.
Leave the cheese out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving so it has a chance to warm up to room temperature. Just be wary in hot summer months that the cheese doesn’t set out so long it begins to sweat and lose its flavor.
The temperature of the cheese will have a great impact on its flavor and aroma, the true nature of the cheese being revealed when it is at room temperature.
If you truly love gourmet cheese why not consider joining a gourmet cheese club. You can receive a variety of gourmet cheese each month you are a member. Some recent selections include: Italian Taleggio cheese, which had been matured in the caves of Valsassina, authentic Lancashire and Gaperon, which is of French origin.
Melinda Carnes is a staff writer and an occasional contributor to several websites