A Statement Cheese: One for Thanksgiving
When you hear "statement piece" from a woman about to attend a holiday party, she's normally talking about the large piece of jewelry she'll be wearing to attend said party. Perhaps a large or bright coral or clunky gold necklace, worn with a simple black dress. Besides calling attention to fantastic jewelry, wearing a statement piece is also a great way to pare down. The jewelry is doing all the meeting and greeting, charming the crowd, smiling at the babies- not much else needs to be done besides throwing on a shift underneath to serve as a platform.
It's the same with statement cheese for Thanksgiving.
When things are crazy and I'm working four days a week at the wine shop advising people on what wine goes with turkey in addition to working on writing samples, recipes, pitches, and projects galore at home, I like to simplify what I bring to Thanksgiving (which we all know will always be fromage). In general, serving cheese is a great way to reduce the amount of cooking one does for events because besides remembering to take out a wheel or wedge an hour or two before the party so it comes to room temp and arranging it on a plate, nothing else needs to be done.
And its possible to do even less with cheese but have it shine even more by serving fewer cheeses.
This is statement cheese.
Serving from four to five cheeses is lovely, but sometimes the glory of a wheel can get lost when tastebuds are overextended. So here goes: try serving one spectacular cheese with varied condiments on the side so people can explore the pick with different flavors and textures. They'll enjoy it on another level because they'll have time to appreciate its nuances- like when a woman wears an LBD and a great chainmaille necklace without any rings or earrings so the eye isn't distracted. Statement cheese likes all the attention too, and pairing it with sides keeps all eyes on it- a touch of sweetness here, a crunch there, a tart pairing here- shows different sides of the cheese.
Here's how to do it.
Statement Cheese Guide:
Pick one cheese. Make sure it's one of your favorites. Stellar. A statement.
Pair it with three to five sides.
Here are two examples.
A Blue Cheese
Like… Bay Blue, Avalanche Blue, Shaker's Blue, Stichelton, Roquefort
Candied or toasted pecans, sliced fresh pears, local raw honey, broken pieces of milk chocolate, pistachio cream.
Getting it? You're curating an experience.
A Soft Gooey Cheese
Forsterkase, Nettle Meadow Kunik, Harbison or Winnemere, Époisse (serve a whole wheel or large wedge)
Rose confit, honeycomb, toasted hazelnuts, bacon jam, broken pieces of white chocolate, persimmons
What's your favorite statement cheese?