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TIP OF THE DAY: Valentine Cheese Plate

We recently published an article on pairing cheese and chocolate, but it was limited to certain types of cheese.

To put together a Valentine cheese plate, pick your favorite cheeses and build the accompaniments around them from the lists below. Use red and/or pink accents.

1. CHEESES
We love the goat cheese family and soft-ripened goat’s, sheep’s and cow’s milk cheeses in general.

  • Brie or camembert
  • Chocolate goat cheese log
  • Coeur a la crème
  • Gorgonzola, gorgonzola dolce or other blue cheese
  • Truffle cheese
  •  
    If these are not your cheese tastes, here are some suggestions that pair with chocolate—since of course, the ideal Valentine’s Day cheese plate includes some chocolate.

  • Alpine-style cheese like gruyère or emmental pair with milk chocolate plus some nuts, from plain almonds or walnuts to rosemary cashews.
  • Aged cheddar and blue cheeses like Aztec (spicy) dark chocolate.
  • Aged parmesan and dark chocolate pair well, and the nutty flavor of the cheese also invites dark chocolate covered almonds. If you’re a beer drinker, try it with an oatmeal stout.
  • Blue cheese pairs delightfully with dark chocolate truffles and a glass of Port.
  • Earthy and stinky cheeses actually pair well with white chocolate and chocolate-covered salt caramels.
  •  
    Feel free to customize the cheese plate with spices, fresh in-season herbs or dried fruits to taste. It’s a fun and easy way to experiment with your favorite flavors.

    Don’t be afraid to ask your local cheesemongers for recommendations; they’re a wealth of knowledge!

    Take cheeses out of the fridge one hour prior to serving, allowing them to come to room temperature.

    2. BREADS & BISCUITS

    This special occasion demands ore than the usual baguette. Look for:

  • Effie’s Cocoa Cakes, cocoa-accented biscuits
  • Raisin-walnut loaf (or any fruit or nut loaf)
  • Semolina loaf
  • Wheatmeal biscuits
  •  
    3. FRUITS

    Go for red fruits for Valentine’s Day:

  • Blood orange segments
  • Pink guava*
  • Raspberries
  • Red figs, halved
  • Red grapefruit segments
  • Red grapes
  • Strawberries
  •  
    4. CHARCUTERIE

    Charcuterie is often red or pink in color, or has a pink tinge.

  • Pâté, terrine or chicken liver mousse
  • Prosciutto or serrano ham
  • Rillettes
  • Salame
  • Saucisson
  •  
    CHOCOLATES & CONFECTIONS

    Artisan chocolatiers sometimes make special treats, like chocolate-covered goat cheese truffles. They’re heavenly, but these are more readily available.

  • Chocolate-covered bacon
  • Chocolate-covered orange peel
  • Chocolate truffles
  • Foil-wrapped solid chocolate hearts
  • Pâte de fruits
  • Salted caramels
  • Spicy Aztec chocolate bar
  •  

    Cheese, Olives, Salame
    [1] It can be as simple as a round of cheese, olives and charcuterie. Shown: Bonne Bouche aged goat cheese with charcuterie and olives (photo courtesy Vermont Creamery).

    Valentine Cheese Board
    [2] More elaborate, with prosciutto and cocoa-covered almonds (photo courtesy Vermont Creamery).

    Chocolate & Cheese Board
    [3] The works: cheeses, crackers, berries, chocolate truffles and caramels. You can press pink peppercorns or dehydrated raspberries into a fresh cheese, or add a sprinkle of red chile flakes (photo courtesy Vermont Creamery).

    Valentine Cheese Board
    [4] Party time! (photo courtesy Cheeses Of France)

    Heart Shaped Cheese
    [5] Heart-shaped cheeses for Valentine’s Day are popular in the U.K. and France, but harder to find in the U.S. (photo courtesy Cheeses Of France).

     
    Check out this article on cheese and chocolate pairings to see how your favorite cheeses pair best with what types of chocolate.

    And to guild the lily, might we suggest a chaser of…chocolate cheesecake, milk chocolate cheesecake or white chocolate cheesecake?
     
    CONDIMENTS & GARNISHES

  • Dulce de leche
  • Dulce de leche
  • Honey
  • Pink peppercorns
  • Pomegranate arils
  • Nuts: chocolate- or cocoa-covered almonds, toasted almonds or hazelnuts
  • Red chile flakes
  • Red or purple olives: gaeta, kalamata, niçoise, red cerignola
  •  
     
    The History Of Cheese

    The History Of Chocolate

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    *You can’t tell from the outside if the flesh of the guava is pink or white. Ask the produce manager.

      




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