Long before being a homeowner was ever an option, I fantasized about the intricate soirees I’d throw. Hosting friends while offering a sublime spread, I pictured myself as an impeccable hostess, a talented chef, a tastemaker.
However, after struggling to get together with my girlfriends post-family, I realized that the best parties require the simplest measures: good friends, great appetizers, and an excellent bottle of wine. And just like that, I forever became a fan of the Wine and Cheese.
An excellent – and affordable – way to bring friends and family together, Wine and Cheese parties are my preferred “girl’s night in” activity. In addition to offering a variety of tastes and textures, cheese platters satisfy the delicate balance between sweet and salty, especially when paired with fruit and nuts.
The perfect Canadian cheese platter is easy to make! Just mix and match your favourite Canadian cheese types to ensure different textures and intensities in flavour. I always look for the 100% Canadian Milk symbol when I buy cheese because it ensures that your cheese is made from Canadian milk renowned for its purity, high quality and great taste. You should too!
Smooth, wrinkly, mouldy, smelly… there is a great variety of deliciously different Canadian Cheeses to seduce the palate. I always stick to my tried and true favourites – a nutty, smooth Canadian Double Cream Brie (the texture and mild flavour is sublime!); a spicy, firm Jalapeno Havarti; a mild and milky Gouda; a soft, subtle Mozzarella; and a sharp, salty Aged Cheddar.
I love adding a small bowlful of sweet berries and a handful of crunchy almonds as well, especially when I’m looking for the right balance of flavours while allowing the cheese to be the star attraction.
I know I should be more adventurous with Canadian Brie – baking it with sweet or savoury spreads to enhance the flavour. But the truth is, I love it simply served with crunchy pear. It’s a basic, earthy combination that evokes images of a simpler time; I envision a farmer, sitting on his porch after a long day in the fields, settling down to a plate of fruit and cheese while his wife hums a soft tune from inside the house.
I will always prefer a freshly baked baguette over crackers, but I do like to include a variety of options. When I present a cheese platter, I like to keep the carbohydrates neutral and thus, universally complimentary.
Such simple pleasures, so many wonderful memories shared with family and friends. Presented with flourish and flair, I think it is exactly what I pictured all those years ago. For girl’s night, or any night, all you need is cheese.
To discover recipes, tips, videos, and more, visit allyouneedischeese.ca.
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