Host a Virtual Cheese Tasting with Tips from CheesesofEurope.com

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Simple Tips to Create a Magnifique Cheese Tasting

“Pick a theme such as alpine, cow’s milk or classics. Another approach is to choose a variety of textures, shapes and colors—soft, semi soft, hard and blue, or place them in order of intensity such as mild, medium and bold, along with fruit, nuts and sliced baguette.”

In March 2020 Zoom reported over 200 million daily meeting participants and by April the number was over 300 million. The cancellation of in person events has led to a boom in virtual happenings including cheese tastings. An educational and enjoyable in-home experience, a virtual tasting as opposed to an in-person tasting can include participants from all over the country or even the world.

Two options for a tasting are either to work with a cheese professional or to do it yourself. Either way you’ll want to follow these guidelines.

Prepare the Cheeses

Whether you are attending a virtual tasting or setting it up yourself, preparing the cheese is key. Carefully unwrap and dry off the cheese if it’s moist. Slice off several pieces of the cheese according to the shape of the cheese. A wedge should be cut into thinner wedges, a square—such as Emmental—can be cut into thin long strips, and a round—such as Brie—can be cut into wedges. Don’t cut them too thick or too thin; make it easy to handle and taste. Cut them cold and then let them come up to room temperature (which usually takes about 1 hour). You can also cover them while they warm up, so they don’t dry out. Cutting them properly provides some paste but also some rind which adds texture and flavor, giving everyone the full sensory experience.

Custom Tastings

The easiest way to plan a virtual tasting with friends, family or colleagues is to work with a professional. You can choose an already scheduled tasting or create a private event by working with a cheesemonger or professional educator to choose the cheeses, the pairings, the length, and the format of your tasting. Many cheese shops are hosting virtual tastings, and some will put together a custom event for groups. Many cheese shops even offer an hour-long private event with a minimum number of 10 participants and includes cheeses, such as Camembert and Pont l’Évêque, depending upon the package you choose.

DIY

Choose your cheeses. Charles Duque, Managing Director of the French Dairy Board says, “Pick a theme such as alpine, cow’s milk or classics. Another approach is to choose a variety of textures, shapes and colors—soft, semi soft, hard and blue, or place them in order of intensity such as mild, medium and bold, along with fruit, nuts and sliced baguette.” Cheeses of Europe provides an easy guide to creating a cheese plate. Choose 4 or 5 cheeses, such as Emmental, Époisses, Mimolette and end with a blue such as Fourme d’Ambert.

Beer, wine, cider, and even some cocktails, make for interesting pairings with cheese. You’ll find beer and wine recommendations and detailed descriptions of cheeses on the Cheeses of Europe website. If you want to do an all-beer tasting, check out this beer and cheese pairing guide.

It’s possible you won’t finish all the cheese during a tasting. If you have some cheese left over, take the time to carefully wrap the cheeses in fresh wrap and refrigerate. If you don’t think you will use them up in the near future, think about shredding or grating them and putting them in recipes or salads. Good cheese should never go to waste. For more entertaining ideas visit https://cheesesofeurope.com/news/host-a-virtual-cheese-tasting.

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Laura Baddish
Baddish Group
+1 (212) 221-7611 Ext: 304
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