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French cheese board

HOW TO COMPOSE A FRENCH CHEESE BOARD

When I sat down to begin planning my Mother’s Day Luncheon, I knew I wanted it to have a French theme.  So it was a no-brainer to include a lovely French cheese board on the luncheon menu. 

The selection of cheeses would be served as my guests arrive and enjoyed while drinking their Pink Grapefruit Wine Spritzers.

I’ll tell you a little bit more about the luncheon’s menu later in this post. Now let’s check out some of the incredible French cheeses that you can use on your French Cheese Board. 

 

CHEESE FROM FRANCE – A plethora of amazing choices

French cheese chart

As you can see, there are so many different cheeses to choose from.  Since I currently hail from a small mountain town in Western North Carolina, I couldn’t find a wide selection to choose from.   When shopping in little boutique artisanal shoppes was a part of my regular life, I would have had a gleeful time tasting and choosing, all afternoon long!

Meanwhile, that doesn’t mean you can find some of these incredible cheeses for your own French Cheese Board.

 

WHAT ELSE SHOULD YOU INCLUDE ON YOUR FRENCH CHEESE BOARD?

  • Fig Jam is my #1 pick that can’t be excluded from ANY cheese decent cheese board!
  • Fresh Grapes, Figs and Berries
  • Dried Fruits and Nuts
  • Fine French meats, thinly sliced
  • Assorted Olives
  • Pickled Vegetables

 

DID YOU KNOW THERE IS SUCH A THING AS CHEESE ETIQUETTE?

Well there most certainly is, and today I’m sharing with you some of the rules the French have when consuming their fabulous fromage.  

french cheese board

And who better to guide us on our way than a gal who’s spent plenty of time in France, and writes about it on her website: SNIPPETS OF PARIS.  Her name is Nassie and she’s got an absolutely wonderful site dedicated to my favorite country, France!

Let’s get right into some of the rules Nassie says are important if you want to eat French cheeses correctly.

 

SELECTED RULES OF EATING CHEESE – The French Way, Or No Way!

  1. WHEN THE FRENCH SERVE CHEESE – The French will only serve cheese at two different times in the social calendar.  If having a full meal that includes a starter/entree/dessert, then cheese would be served before the dessert course.  Alternatively, they will also have cheeses served as part of a charcuterie board at a casual gathering such as a cocktail party.
  2. ARTISANAL OR HIGH QUALITY BREADS, PLEASE – Keep your bread choices to good French baguettes or lovely artisanal loaves that have fabulous crusts and yummy interiors.  Leave the crackers for when you’re serving soup.
  3. DON’T SAY STINKY WHEN YOU TALK OF CHEESE – In almost any circumstances it would be rude toFrench cheese board describe something as “stinky”.  But when you’re talking about a French cheese, it’s absolute blasphemy!  If you must use a word to describe one of the cheeses on the board, the preferred word to use is “strong”.  Better to be polite, than right!
  4. SERVE YOUR CHEESES AT ROOM TEMPERATURE – Remove your cheeses from the refrigerator and unwrap them about 20-30 minutes before serving, depending on your weather conditions.  Too warm a cheese is simply unappetizing.
  5. NO SPREADING CHEESES, EVEN A SOFT ONE – It’s considered rude to slather your cheese onto your bread.  Cut it with your cheese knife and layer it on top of the pate! 
  6. BUT, DON’T CUT THE BREAD – Guests should tear their bread instead of using their knives.  Hostesses will generally cut loaves into large chunks that you can take and tear as you enjoy your cheeses.
  7. THERE’S A RIGHT AND A WRONG ORDER TO ENJOYING CHEESES – In order for your palate to taste and savor each cheese, you should start with the mildest of the choices.  Then work your way up to the strongest cheeses, like the blues.
  8. WHEN TO LEAVE THE RIND BEHIND – The general rule of thumb is that you should eat the rind from all soft cheeses, along with goats and blues.  Hard cheeses generally have rinds that can left behind without being rude.

 

Actually, Nassie has a few more rules that she shares with us. But I wanted to “cherry-pick” the ones I thought you should know for today’s post in How to Compose a French Cheese Board.  

It’s really not that hard to pull it all together when you do your shopping at some of your local artisanal stores.  You’ll also be amazed at what you can find online too!  

Now I’ll share the rest of my Mother’s Day Luncheon’s French inspired menu with you!

 

MOTHER’S DAY LUNCHEON CELEBRATION – A “French-Themed” Ladies Lunch

Celebrating Mother’s Day this year will be festive and delightfully delicious when hosting a “French-Themed” lunch to honor the mothers in your life.

mother's day luncheon buffet

Doesn’t the French Cheese Board look wonderful as part of this fabulous ladies luncheon menu?

Here’s what is on the menu of my fabulously French Mother’s Day Luncheon:

 

But what about dessert? You can’t have a bunch of gals together without serving dessert, right?

 

MOTHER’S DAY LUNCHEON – Desserts Are Mandatory!

Here’s the two desserts I chose to be the “sweet endings” to my fabulous Mother’s Day Luncheon.  I’ll serve both with an assortment of teas to wind down what is sure to be a lovely afternoon.

mother's day desserts

 

The first is a light and moist Pink Grapefruit Chiffon Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.  Yes, I know it’s PINK!

I finished the cake off with some delightful sugar flowers and leaves I purchased on Amazon last year.  They last forever if kept in a dry, dark and cool location. 

It turned out so lovely with three luscious layers, just aching for some White Chocolate Buttercreamchocolate grand marnier pots de creme Frosting.  Depending on the size of cake pan you use, you’ll have 2 or 3 layers, so you will need 6 whole cups of frosting for this cake.  (that’s exactly how much my recipe makes!)

Now, for the second Mother’s Day Luncheon dessert, I knew any gaggle of women would be looking around, waiting for the chocolate to appear!  So as not to disappoint, I’ve also included a lovely Chocolate Grand Marnier Pots de Crème on the menu.  

It’s densely chocolate, with a hint of citrus that gives it a new level of sophistication.  In keeping with the party’s pink color-scheme, and the pink grapefruit cake, I garnished them with Candied Pink Grapefruit slices.  They are amazingly addictive, so be careful to save enough for your presentation!

I finished the Chocolate Grand Marnier Pots de Crème with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and fresh mint.  Don’t they look lovely? And they taste even better!

CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPES: 

 

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