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The 5 cheeses you need for the perfect cheese board

Create the dream cheese board on World Cheese Day

04 Jun 2021 / 13:21 H.

The making of cheese predates recorded history, but many historians estimate that the first cheese was made around 8,000 years ago. No one knows exactly who made the first cheese, but evidence of its production has been discovered in Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and even the Sahara.

Early cheese production usually took place in small homestead farms, and it wasn’t until 1815 when the first cheese factory was built in Switzerland, allowing for the mass production of cheese. There have been a variety of cheese flavours and varieties over the years, and more recently, artisanal cheese made using traditional methods, have been enjoying a surge in populatiry.

Here in Malaysia, people are becoming more discerning when it comes to their cheeses. Forget the common sliced cheddar, these days true cheese aficionados are not afraid to experiment with different types of cheese and wine pairings. And thanks to online shopping and specialty grocers, cheese platters are now a common sight during house parties.

In conjunction with World Cheese Day today, BUZZ presents our choice of five cheeses that will help get first-timers started at building their very own cheese board.

Manchego

The 5 cheeses you need for the perfect cheese board

Manchego cheese comes from the La Mancha region of Spain. It’s made using sheep’s milk which results in tangy, nutty and grassy flavours. Manchego cheese while not as creamy as brie and is high in butterfat which gives it a rich and decadent feel. The cheese is best served with sweet or savoury crackers, thinly sliced ham, almonds, walnuts and sweet flavours such as honey and marmalade. When it comes to wine pairing, Manchego goes well with Spanish sherry, a fruity red Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir.

Gouda

The 5 cheeses you need for the perfect cheese board

Gouda originates from the Netherlands and has a nutty, buttery taste infused with notes of caramel. As such, it’s an all-around crowd-pleaser on a cheese plate. Young gouda has a mild flavour and it gets sharp when it ages more. Young Gouda is typically covered in red or yellow waxy coating while an aged gouda is covered in black wax.

This Dutch cheese goes well with bread and fresh fruits such as grapes, sliced apples and dried apricots. Young gouda can be paired with a glass of Pinot Grigio or Reisling while aged gouda goes well with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay. Dark rum or a single malt scotch are good alternatives as well.

Triple Cream Brie

The 5 cheeses you need for the perfect cheese board

Triple Cream Brie is definitely extra creamy with a buttery flavour. This cheese is best enjoyed with sliced baguette and plain crackers, while paired with delicious fruits such as berries and grapes. To elevate it even further, Triple Cream Brie can also be topped with something sweet like honey and fig jam.

Triple cream brie also goes well with most drinks. You can have it with Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, stout beer, fruity pilsner or bourbon.

Cheddar

The 5 cheeses you need for the perfect cheese board

Cheddar originates from an English village and is a popular hard cheese with a nutty and sharp taste. The taste ranges from sweet and creamy to bitter and sharp. Cheddar goes well with sliced fruits such as strawberries and pears, and meats such as salami and pepperoni. Don’t forget to have it with some crackers and roasted almonds. Cheddar is best enjoyed with Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon or a good pale ale.

Goat cheese

The 5 cheeses you need for the perfect cheese board

Goat cheese has a wide range of flavours and can go from being mild to pungent to grassy and sweet. Some of the popular goat cheeses are the classic French chevre and the blue cheese.

Goat cheeses pair well with just about everything such as berries, salami, olives, walnuts, honey and crackers. The tangy goat cheese goes well with Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc or Malbec. Other than wines, it can be paired with a citrusy gin drink or a Hefeweizen beer too.

Once you have figured out which flavours or cheese types are your favourites, you can learn to mix-and-match for future cheese boards.

Now you’ve learned which cheeses are the best, here’s how to set up your own charcuterie board.

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