How to Serve Gourmet Cheese for the Holidays
For more than a century, Beemster has been hand-making gourmet cheese on its sustainable farm in the Netherlands. The cheese is matured for a minimum of 18 months and carefully crafted by master cheese makers. Michael Blum, Beemster's resident cheese expert, has some tips for holiday entertaining ranging from presentation to accompaniments and wine pairings:
1. Consume at Room Temperature: Cheese is most flavorful to consume at room temperature. All cheeses are best stored below 7 degrees Celsius/45 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Make the Cut: allow cheese to sit at least one hour at room temperature before cutting. Remove the rind by cutting back into the cheese half an inch before grating. Cut small snack-sized squares for cheese-plates or salads and grate cheese into small slivers for pasta or pizza.
3. Go Nutty: Cheese pairs excellent with nuts. Spruce up your cheese plate by including pecans, walnuts, macadamias or cashews. If you or your guests have a nut allergy, other snacks that go well with cheese are apples, grapes, pears, figs, dates, olives and picles.
4. Old and Sweet: Older cheeses, such as Beemster X-O, pair well with sweeter wines like Rieslings and ports.
5. Get Fresh: Young and fresh cheeses taste best with lighter beers. A good rule of thumb is the more mild the cheese, the lighter the beer.