No holiday gathering is complete without a cheese plate. But how do you decide how many cheeses to provide, which to choose, and how much you need total? Here are some guidelines on assembling the perfect holiday cheese plate.
Get the right amount of cheese
You can estimate 3 - 4 ounces of cheese per person at your gathering. This means that a group of 10 people would need a total of about 2 pounds of cheese. You’ll divide this between the various cheeses you choose to serve.
Another good rule of thumb is to have at least 3 cheeses for your spread, but to increase that number by 1 cheese for every 3 guests. You don’t want to overwhelm your tasters though, so you may want to cap this number at 6 or 7 options total. This means that for that group of 10, you’ll want 5 cheeses.
Each week we taste a sampling of cheeses in our Boston office and discuss their flavors, textures, and our general impressions of them. Yum!
Naturally Light Indian Tonic
Last week I read about five games that teach food and agricultural economics. This got me thinking: Are there games that teach about cheese?
I did some searching, and while I didn't find any games that teach you anything about cheese(perhaps something culture needs to look into), I did find a lot of cheese-centric games. Some of them also had nostalgic value for the culture staff. Here they are in no particular order.
1. Mousetrap - Who remembers this piece of awesome entertainment from the 80s? Okay, so maybe the game was released in the 60s, but I remember seeing ads for it as a child and desperately wishing for it. The dichotomy of first collaboratively building a complex mouse trap, then turning against each other and baiting your fellow players with cheese pieces is great.
I've been a fan of Lidia Bastianich's ever since I first started watching her cook on PBS years ago. When my husband was gifted her "Lidia's Italy in America" cookbook, my admiration only grew (try the Chicken Scarpariello recipe, and thank me later!). Whether in her cookbooks or on her TV series, Bastianich has always presented Italy and Italian cuisine in a realistic light, and I really appreciate that. Italian fare is more than just pizza, pasta, and gelato (though those ARE important and delicious components); Bastianich knows that and embraces Italy's culinary diversity. Needless to say, I was excited to have the chance to interview her for our Autumn 2013 Voicings.
This October, we're celebrating two of the most American things around: our blossoming artisan cheese scene and…football! Yup, you heard us right. Cheese and football -- and this one goes beyond the Packers.
We want to know…which American cheese represents each team?
We were inspired by this article from Sports On Earth, which names a beer for each NFL team. Sports On Earth, we'll do you one better.
It’s no surprise, but we at culture receive far more story pitches than we’re ever able to assign. Hey, we’re not complaining! It’s great to constantly receive new ideas and options for the magazine, even if it means we also need to complete the less fun task of turning down would-be contributors.
Pitches usually come from writers, but they also are sent by people who are on the producing/sales end of things: cheesemakers, consultants, retail sales managers, publicists. It doesn’t really matter who sends in a pitch, so don’t be shy; if it’s a great idea, we’ll be sure to follow up on it.
If you’d like to get your story into print in culture , here are a few tips for submitting a successful pitch:
Sadly, my time as web editorial intern at culture has come to an end. I’ve enjoyed every moment and mouthful of cheese. I take away with me a heightened knowledge and appreciation of cheese, and now I can walk up to any cheese counter with confidence. For my last blog, I’d like to share some my favorite cheeses (and one butter!) I tasted while interning at culture.
Moses Sleeper by Cellars at Jasper Hill
I love Brie, and this cheese from Vermont’s Cellars at Jasper Hill is one of the best domestic bries around. It smells grassy and earthy, but tastes of rich cream and butter. After tasting it, I took a chunk home and baked it with honey and walnuts for a decadent salad!
Tarentaise by Spring Brook Farm
Each week we taste a sampling of cheeses in our Cambridge office and discuss their flavors, textures, and our general impressions of them. Yum!
Cow's Milk - Wisconsin
Of course a cheese’s personality is largely dependent on the taste, texture, aroma, and ingredients that go into it, but there are other parts of a cheese’s story that contribute to its character. In this blog series, Natalie investigates the distinct personality traits of some of the most unique cheeses out there.
Wallace and Gromit are the silly and charming stars of a series of British claymation films that began in 1989. In each Wallace and Gromit animation, you can expect that the slightly dopey inventor Wallace will get into some kind of far-fetched trouble, and his very tolerant dog Gromit will help get him out of it. But what nobody expected is that Wallace and Gromit would bring a cheese back to life with their shenanigans.