I sat down with the folks at Say Cheese! Restaurant and Cheese in West Reading. We talked about how to prepare a perfect cheese plate for a picnic. The basic rules still apply to New Year’s or any special occasion. This is what we came up with.
The perfect picnic isn’t just about the destination it’s also what you pack. An indoor, rainy day picnic or a bundle of blankets by the fire can be creative but make sure you have the ideal pairings to savor. I found my basket fillings with the expert help of the local shopkeepers at West Reading’s Say Cheese! Restaurant and Cheese.
Here are some basic guidelines to get you started.
- Keep 3 cheeses in mind when preparing your cheese plate. Serving size should be about 2oz per person.
- A soft, blue and a hard cheese is a good place to start. Try to have one of each.
- Don’t forget the sweet (lemon curd, jam, honey) or salty (nuts, crackers, pickled vegetables, charcuterie)
Here are some of the cheeses I went with on my visit to Say Cheese! I’m not fond of blue and chose the Doe Run Dairy‘s St. Malachi instead.
Cyrypus Grove Purple Haze, goat cheese infused with wild fennel pollen & lavender bud. Pairs well with
- marcona almonds
- honey drizzled or mixed berry jam
- prosciutto wrapped, dates stuffed with purple haze
- on salad with sliced strawberries, toasted pecans & balsamic
- spread on a sandwich or on crostini
- wine: sauvignon blanc, reisling
- beer: pilsner, witbier
Bella Vitano’s balsamic bathed asiago, cow’s milk. Pairs well with
- honey drizzled or served with dates and raisins
- serve with chocolate and a beaujolais for dessert
- charcuterie and smoked turkey
- herbed olives
- wine: sherry, asti spumanti, pinot noir or chardonnay
- beers: weizen, smoked porter and pale ales
Doe Run Dairy‘s St. Malachi, local cow cheese fruity with a bit of acidity, grassy and a hint of lemon sturdy enough to stand up to a whole seed mustard. Pairs well with
- honey, grapes and nuts
- wine: fruity white and light bodied reds
- beer: dry cider beer and light ales