Gone are the low-fat obsessed '90s. The '00s are shaping up to be a decade in which anything goes -- in moderation, of course. Which brings us to the return of cheese. The new-again cheese course has become a dinner-party essential, and in upscale restaurants, cheese “sommeliers” are becoming a familiar sight.
High-fat or low-fat, oozing or solid, mild or ripe, there's a cheese for everyone. But with hundreds of varieties from around the world to choose from, making picks can be tricky. So we're enrolling you in Style at Home's ultimate cheese course -- read up and learn more about several cheeses sure to please.
After dinner trend
When it comes to entertaining, the hottest trend is forgoing dessert in favour of cheese. Hazel Ecclestone, co-owner of La Fromagerie, a Toronto cheese boutique, says one of the best ways to enjoy cheese is at the end of a meal: “You've already eaten, so you're less likely to overindulge.“ Here are some of Hazel's suggestions for presenting a stellar cheese platter.
When buying, the rule of thumb is 50 to 100 grams of cheese per person. Stop yourself from buying too much, because although you can keep the extra, most cheese is best within the first few days in home-refrigerator conditions.
Mix & match
Always have three or more cheeses. Include goat's, sheep's and cow's milk cheeses, and offer a range of styles from soft, hard, blue and strong. Hazel's standby cheese plate includes a chèvre, Camembert and Roquefort. Start with the most delicate and work your way up to the more pungent options.