Culture: The Art of the French Cheese Plate
There’s nothing more artistic than a French cheese plate served after a delicious meal. You’re guaranteed a gastronomical treat of flavors and textures you’ll never forget. Although I’ve had a variety of cheeses all my life, I never experienced a true French cheese plate until a lovely evening dining at Le Bistrot du Paradou, in the South of France. It was hard to top our Provençal meal, but the cheese selection we enjoyed definitely delivered.
Since this experience, my husband has become a true cheese fanatic– the stinkier, the better for him, but he’ll never refuse a creamy goat cheese either. After picking his brain, and finding this wonderful website, iGourmet.com, that delivers cheese from all over the world, I’ve come up with a few pointers to help you create your own French cheese plate, sure to wow your guests at the end of the meal. I’ve also included a French cheese platter sample with specific cheeses selected.
How To Assemble Your Cheese Plate
The basic concept of a cheese plate is to pick a variety of cheeses based on three attributes: flavor (mild to pungent), texture (creamy to hard) and milk type (cow, goat, sheep). The cheeses are placed on a platter in a circular shape according to flavor, from mildest to most pungent. The other two attributes (texture and milk type) should be mixed among the choices.
Sample French Cheese Platter with Example Cheeses
Above is a sample French cheese platter with a variety of cheeses selected based on the assembly instructions. All these cheeses (and many more) are available to purchase online at iGourmet.com.
- P’tit Basque – Mild flavor, hard texture, sheep’s milk
- Saint Andre – Mild buttery flavor, creamy texture, cow’s milk
- Gruyere de Comte – Mild medium flavor, hard texture, cow’s milk
- Camembert La Petite Reine – Medium flavor, creamy texture, cow’s milk
- Crottin de Champcol – tangy flavor, medium texture, goat’s milk
- Langres – pungent “stinky” flavor, medium/creamy texture, cow’s milk
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