Smile and say cheese!Exactly what is considered an ultimate cheese plate?  With the holidays coming up, I started to think “what’s a good dish to bring to holiday parties?”  How about cheeses!  I love bringing a cheese plate, almost everyone loves cheese and if you put an assortment of 5 different types of cheese, you should cover most taste palates.

Your cheese plate should have these 5 components: mild, soft, hard, stinky and sharp flavors.  Some suggestions:  Parmigiano Reggiano which has a nutty flavor and hard, Brie or Camembert which are soft and mild, Blue Cheese is your stinky cheese, Cheddar or Gouda which are buttery sharp cheeses, and Goat cheese is a sharp tasting, soft cheese.

Add sliced fruits like apples, star fruit or strawberries, nuts, olives, sliced assorted breads and crackers.  Finally, add special toppings, my favorites include fig jam, honey or Bolognese cherries.

Would you like to sample some cheeses and Bolognese cherries?  To sign up for a culinary tour of the Philadelphia Italian Market, please call Chef Jacquie at (610) 506-6120.