Serving a Cheese Course in France is Culinary Tradition
“How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?”
~ French President, Charles de Gaulle in 1962
Serving a cheese course after the main dish is customary in France but certainly not mandatory. Typically the host provides a selection of cheeses ranging from mild to strong in flavour, along with some crusty baguette and oftentimes a green salad.
The “recipe” below is more of a guideline as the choice of cheese and quantities depend on the number of people you expect to serve. The seasonal cheese tray below includes fresh figs, dried fruit and nuts. While this presentation is not traditional, it is still delicious. Regardless, it is best to limit the choices if you plan to serve a dessert following the cheese course.
Cheese plate with Seasonal Figs
- 1 Mild Cheese Such as brie, fresh chevre, Camenbert
- 1 Medium Cheese Comté, Cantal, Tomme, Mimolette
- 1 Cheese with a stronger flavour Reblochon, Epoisses, SaintNectaire
- 1 Blue Cheese Such as Roquefort
- Walnuts or other nuts allow 3-4 person
- Fresh Figs allow 1-2 person
- Dried Fruit dried figs, prunes, apricots
- 1 Baguette sliced
- Prepare your cheese tray, placing the cheese in order of mild to strongest.
- Wash the figs. Cut off the tops and slice in half or quarters.
- Decorate the cheese plate as you wish and serve with fresh sliced baguette.
Recipes with Goat Cheese
Whether cooking is your passion or not, entertaining should be enjoyable. Perhaps the climate in Provence lends itself to outdoor dining, but traditional cuisine generally involves a few seasonal ingredients and simple techniques. Below we share five (5) easy entertaining ideas inspired by the South of France, including cocktail nibbles, picnics, Sunday lunch and more.
Sometimes when life calls for relaxed, stress-free dining, try an indoor picnic. Make a charcuterie cheese board as an appetizer or add more ingredients for a light meal – apéro dinatoire. According to Saveur Magazine, the Hungarians have perfected this low-key form of entertaining. Here is how to make a charcuterie cheese board.