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Top Cheeses for a Tasty Cheese Platter

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by Sarah Cork (subscribe)
A freelance writer living in Perth, WA. Not the droid you're looking for.
Published March 14th 2013
A wonderful world of cheese
Cheese is a common word used to describe many different products. Cheese has many different flavours, textures and aromas, it is a very versatile item, great for cooking, sandwiches or with wine.

The perfect finish to a meal or when entertaining guests is a good cheese platter. Loaded with different cheeses and accompaniments, a cheese platter can be shared by family and friends, young and old.

A good cheese platter should include a variety of cheeses and crackers and should also contain fruit, nuts and dried fruits for everyone to enjoy.

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia
Cheese Platter by Dorina Andress

1. Brie. Brie is a soft ripened cheese with a rind that helps to preserve the interior. Brie has a very creamy texture and a strong aroma that develops with age. Brie is great with fruit, crusty bread, crackers or toasted fruit bread.

2. Camembert. Camembert is also a soft and creamy cheese with a powdery rind. Similar to Brie, there are some differences as they are ripened differently.

3. Blue Cheese. Traditional Blue Cheese has cultures added to it, so that the final product has fine blue veins running through it. Blue cheese has a distinct smell and can be crumbled or melted over other foods. Types of blue cheese include Gorgonzola, Blue Stilton and Bleu de Gex.

4. Gouda. Gouda is a yellow cheese mainly produced in Holland. It is made in a round mould and has a distinct taste and a complete rind. Gouda can be aged for varying periods of time so the taste and texture depends on how long it is aged.

5. Maasdam. Maasdam cheese is creamy, but a bit sweet and fruity. Great for sandwiches, grilled cheese or eaten with fruit.

6. Grana Padano. Grana Padano is one of Italy's most a popular cheeses. It is a hard cheese and very tasty shaved over pasta or salad.

7. Smoked Cheese. Smoked cheeses are smoked in a traditional way so the outer skin is usually a brownish colour. It has a smoky flavour and is sliceable, great on toasted sandwiches or with crackers. Types of smoked cheese include Gruyère, Smoked Gouda and Provolone.

8. Edam. Edam cheese comes in a sphere, it is pale yellow and has a red paraffin wax coating. Edam is a semi-soft cheese with a mild taste and little smell but as it ages the taste and smell increase.

9. Swiss Cheese. Swiss Cheese is an 'eye cheese' or 'hole cheese', it has a smooth satiny texture and is slightly sweet in taste. It is a firm cheese which has a wide appeal so it is great for cooking, sandwiches, or a cheese board.

10. Feta. Feta has a deliciously soft and creamy texture. It has a slightly savoury flavour and crumbles easily so it is good for salads, antipasto, savoury pastries or served with crusty bread and crackers.

11. Cheddar. Cheddar cheese if a hard cheese with a sharp taste. It is one of the most popular cheeses and can be used in a variety of ways such as cooking, for sandwiches or with crackers and wine.

Cheese is a personal thing - just because you like one sort of cheese does not mean you will like another. The taste and the smell of cheese plays a big part and either one can put you off. Cheese on its own will taste different than if you have it with crackers, crusty bread, wine or beer.

Take a journey and discover the different types and tastes of cheese. You might find that you really enjoy cheeses you never thought you would.
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