It’s standard knowledge that cheese would come from a cow or even a goat, but a reindeer? A camel? A buffalo? Although physically possible something just seems slightly ‘off’ about it. Still, dairy products from camels are accepted and eaten in all parts of the world- apparently there is a lot we don’t know about cheese.
There are actually hundreds of different types available (over 670 to be exact) from all kinds of animals, ranging from raw skimmed or pasteurised. According to cheese.com, cheese was never ‘invented’ as much as discovered. Simply understanding that leaving milk to curdle over a period of time brought the product into human consumption over 4000 years ago.
Consider this collaboration of advice from cheesematters.com and cheese.com, your ‘how to’ with everything from moldy to crumbly cheeses, what to put with them and how to present them.
Served at the beginning of a casual meal, function or picnic, the Antipasto style party platter may contain cheese, olives, pate, dips, crackers, meats, and pickled vegetables. As a guide, for a large platter to serve 10-12 people include up to 3 cheeses. Choose from Fetta (plain or marinated), Bocconcini, Goat’s cheese, Fruit/Savoury cheeses, Brie or Camembert or even a piece of Parmesan.
After-dinner cheese platter
Serving cheese after main course and before dessert, is a great way to finish off the wine from main…and move onto the dessert wine. For a sit-down dinner of say 4-8 people, select 3-4 different styles of cheese, place wedges or rounds on a large plate, garnish with a few simple matching accompaniments and partner with some crusty bread or crackers in a separate bowl or basket.
Cheese plates for kids
It’s best to pre-cut the cheese into slices, cubes, triangles or wedges for them, and add some colourful accompaniments for them to graze on, like cherry tomatoes, cucumber pieces, dried apricots, pretzels, celery sticks, pieces of apple, crackers or a bowl of dip. Also good as an after-school snack for a bunch of kids! Minichol cheese is also an excellent snack for kids that are allergic to cheese/lactose intolerant and available at most Coles and Woolworths supermarkets.