Its time for Holiday and Christmas cocktail parties. I love parties, and don’t mind hosting them as long as I have a plan in mind. I recently had a Canadian cheese tasting party, and thought I would share because it was so ‘easy to put together.
I used simple white dishes that I already had on hand, added a red plaid tablecloth, and added some Christmas decorations to the table. I would have loved to include a chalkboard paper runner or boards to line up the cheese on. This would make it easy to label as well, but it didn’t work out.
I decided on a cheese tasting because it is delicious and easy. To “up” the celebration factor for this event, I thought it would be fun to try some new (to me) types of Canadian cheeses. I stopped in to Springbank Cheese (in Willow Park if you are in Calgary) and got some excellent recommendations, sampled some new cheeses, and also got some new recipes.
I made a grown up mac n cheese – using an amazing cheddar cheese from Five Brothers Artisan Cheese in Newfoundland. I love that adding a different kind of cheese gives a new life to a classic favorite food.
Open-Faced Grilled Cheese Sandwiches – I cut up a baguette into thin slices and heated it on the grill. Guests chose their favorite combinations and we made many varieties of sandwiches. Perfect for a cocktail party, because the sandwiches are small. Some of our favorite combinations included apple slices, meat, dried cranberries, and various Canadian cheeses.
Caprese salad skewers – Canadian (fresh?) mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and basil. Really easy to stick with a skewer, top with balsamic vinegar, and some smoked salts and it was delicious.
- St. Augustin
- Nostrala, Kootenay Alpine Cheese Company
- Louis D’or, Fromagerie du Presbytère
- Cheddar Cheese, white, aged 6 years
- Pacific Rock Cheese
- Grizzly Gouda (Aged Gouda Cheese), Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd.
- Blue Fume Smoked Blue Cheese
- Five Brothers Cheese, Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese
- La Baluchon Cheese, Fromagerie FX Pichet – Won Canadian Cheese of the year at the 2014 Canadian Cheese Award competition!
The one combination I didn’t try, but can’t wait to, is to top baked potatoes with different Canadian cheeses. YUMMY.
It is recommended to bring the cheese to room temperature by taking it out of the fridge 45 minutes prior to serving (except for Fresh cheeses). If you prepare a cheese board before hand, cover it with a moist tea towel to keep it from drying out or absorbing other smells.
Leftovers – many cheeses can be frozen in smaller pieces (500 g or less) for up to two months. Just use thick freezer bags to freeze and defrost in the fridge. The texture may change, so use these for cooking. It is not recommended to freeze soft Brie, Camembert, etc.) or fresh (Cottage, Cream, Quark, Ricotta) cheese. I love to melt cheeses together for fondue, to garnish soups, or shredding on top of pizza!
As a mom, I love cheese, and love that my kids enjoy it as well. It’s the perfect ingredient because of its taste, its versatility, and its convenience. To discover recipes, tips, videos, and more, visit allyouneedischeese.ca
Would you like to win $100 worth of Canadian cheese? You could host your own cheese tasting party! All you have to do is create a Pinterest board filled with photos of your favorite Canadian cheese. Details can be found at allyouneedischeese.ca/contest and be sure to use the hashtags #simplepleasures #CDNcheese
As a Chatelaine Taster & Tester, I receive product for review. However all views are my own.