Cheese & Meat Planks - Designing Your Board

When we say our Cheese and Meat Boards can be designed specifically for you, we mean it! 

No matter what your theme is or how many guests you have, we can cater to your needs. 

When designing your boards we think about every last detail, to ensure yours is the most unique and exquisite it could ever be for your event. 

We consider the style of the board itself - whether you are wanting a rustic themed Cheese and Meat Board on a piece of wood, or a more conservative and elegant style on a piece of white porcelain, we can get our hands on just about anything!

Next comes the types of cheeses and meats on your board. When we begin discussing your board with you, one of our first questions is if there are any preferences of cheese and meats that you do or don’t want on your board. Depending on that answer and number of people at your event, we usually opt for a selection of cheddar style cheeses, soft cheeses, blue cheeses and goats cheeses. Meats will include a selection of prosciutto and pancetta’s, salami’s, smoked salmon, wagyu bresaola - the list is endless!

No board is complete without a selection of delicious fillers to accompany your standout antipasto produce. These can range from organic quince paste’s, fruit chutneys and pâté to seasonal fruits and marinated vegetables. Of course everyone loves bread and crackers with cheese and we provide only the finest quality - organic artisan sourdoughs and Bacco’s leaves are some of our favourites!

Theming your board is definitely one of our favourite parts of our Cheese and Meat journey with you! Whether you are having a classic white tablecloth wedding or a rustic outdoor party, we will style your board to suit your theme perfectly - even down to the cheese knives!

We, at Cheese To Meat You, sometimes forget how lucky we are that this is our job! Creating beautiful Cheese and Meat Boards for our incredible clients is honestly a dream come true. We cant wait to create your next board for your special event and begin the food journey with you!

Cheese Towers

Cheese Wedding Cakes known as Cheese Towers, are becoming more and more popular as a quirky alternative to the traditional cake or a chic twist on a typical desert or late night snack bar at Weddings or engagements. 

Here are all the facts about Cheese Towers if you are thinking this is your type of Wedding cake. 

1. Height and number of wheels  

The cheese tower can have as many or as little cheese wheels as you like. We do however always suggest a minimum of four so you can get the cheese tower effect. It starts with a big wheel of cheese and works its way up to smaller wheels. It is also a good idea to have some extras of the smaller wheels of cheese so each guest can get a taste of each. The higher your Cheese Tower the bigger the statement. 

2. Taste

Taste is obviously one of the most important factors when it comes to your Cheese Tower. You want people to be amazed by the cheese in your Wedding Cake. By having an expert help you with your Cheese Tower you can guarantee your guests will love the cheese. Sourcing from some of the Worlds best Cheese Mongers we ensure quality and amazing flavours with every cheese. 

3. Size and Colour

The very best cheese wedding cakes will look stunning, as well as taste amazing – and although it’s not all about the size, we choose your cheeses so that the layers go up in nice increments, with at least 2cm difference in diameter between each layer. We add a bit of colour to the cake for an extra-special effect ( using cheeses like Sparkenhoe red Leicester or Italian Gorgonzola), but this can also be done with fruit decorations too. 

4. Balancing Styles

A cheese wedding cake shouldn’t contain cheeses that all taste the same and have the same texture! This is why we are so careful in our choosing. We select a range of styles – at least a hard, a soft and a blue – but we also suggest what we call the wow factor cheeses - a goats’ cheese and a crumbly vintage cheddar, or a special cheese with either fruit or nuts in it. It’s worth noting that the harder cheeses will probably be the most popular so you’ll want the biggest quantity of those. 

5. Small can be Beautiful

For something quirky or different, you could create an individual smaller cheese wedding cake for each separate table. By using two or three small cheeses, for example Mini Camemberts topped with an individual goats’ cheese, you can create a cheese table cake your guests will love!

6. Serve your Cheese at Room Temperature

Cheese tastes so much better at room temperature – so make sure it’s out of the fridge a couple of hours before it’s cut – not too long though – you don’t want the Brie running down the aisle! It can then last out for 4-5 hours in the perfect cheese environment.

7. How much Cheese do you need?

70g-100g of cheese per person is ideal for a normal cheese plate serving. If it’s to constitute a main part of the meal – double that quantity. 

8. Serving your Cheese Wedding Cake

We suggest serving your Cheese Cake with an arrangement of fresh fruit, crackers and chutneys. We can hand select each condiment to go with your cheeses. Its such a wonderful way to finish your Wedding off. 

Quick hints and ideas: 

  • Why not serve your Wedding Cheese Cake at the start of the reception or evening
  • Mini Cheese Cakes are the perfect idea for table centrepieces
  • Have mini boxes for your guests to take home a goodie box of cheese at the end of the night 
  • Give your guests their own cheese knife as their special gift from your wedding, this way they can also use it at the wedding 
  • For an extra special touch, have suggestions of wines that go perfectly with the cheeses you have chosen. 

Gorgonzola

FORMAGGIO

Cheese

Gorgonzola

 

REGION

One of the world’s oldest blue-vein cheese, Gorgonzola has been produced in the Northern Italian regions of Lombardy and Piedmont for centuries. European Law only allows this cheese to be produced in certain regions of Italy. 

TYPES

Gorgonzola Dolce “Sweet Gorgonzola” is soft and crumbly in texture and has a sweeter taste than its other varieties. A nutty aroma emerges from this cheese and the age of the gorgonzola deciphers it’s sharpness. 

Gorgonzola Piccante “Gorgonzola Naturale, Gorgonzola Montagna or Mountain Gorgonzola” has a spicier taste than it’s younger version and is more solid and crumbly in texture.  

Gorgonzola has a thin and fragile rind, and it’s body varies from creamy white to pale yellow in colour with green / blue veins through out. 

AGEING PROCESS

Traditionally, rather than being “injected” with mould initially, it is the introduction of air in to the cheese during the ageing process that causes the blue veining to develop. Gorgonzola cheese only ages for about 3 months depending on the desired sharpness of the cheese. It is aged in a cool yet moist environment at around 11 - 12 degrees Celsius and 93% - 95% moisture.

WINE MATCHING

If you are having Gorgonzola Piccante, the spicier version of the cheese - then a well-structured, valuable, aged red will go nicely together. E.g Barolo or Cabernet etc.

If it is Gorgonzola Dolce you are having - a softer red or even some whites will pair beautifully with the cheese. E.g Sangiovese or Merlot if you desire red; or a Riesling or Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio if you prefer a white.

FOOD MATCHING

Whilst Gorgonzola is a decadence on it’s own, pairing it with food or including it in some recipes can be a luxury as well. Adding Gorgonzola to pasta sauces or even fresh salads can really take your cooking to the next level.

A classic gorgonzola will always, ALWAYS compliment a soft, sweet fruit such as pear, peaches or my ultimate favourite - FIGS. 

If you want to go to food heaven then try this - 

Gorgonzola stuffed figs wrapped in crispy prosciutto drizzled with honey and olive oil:

  • Cut figs in half and stuff with a small amount of gorgonzola 
  • Wrap each fig in prosciutto 
  • Place figs under a hot grill for 2 minutes (the idea is to get the prosciutto nice and crispy, the cheese slightly melted and the centre of the figs still slightly cool)
  • Serve with a light drizzle of honey and extra virgin olive oil

Antipasto

Antipasto (plural antipasti) refers to the foods offered before the meal itself begins.  they are a colourful, delicious array of gourmet cheese and meats that bring a crowd together. 

They are meant to stimulate the appetite and taste buds and are served cold or at room temperature. 

More recently we have moved away from the traditional idea of antipasto. Originally it was a few different meats and cheeses before commencing a meal. It has now become a star of the show and is being made substantial enough to be a meal in itself. The appearance of the antipasto announces to the crowd that something special is about to begin. Usually just the sight of a beautifully prepared antipasto is enough to change the entire mood of a gathering, luring each guest to the table for a shared meal amongst friends or family. A great antipasto board has a way of pulling you out from the knots and tangles of your life and coaxes each guest to suspend the cares and worries of their day, and immerse themselves in the gifts of wonderful food set before them. 

The presentation of the antipasto - the colours, the artful composition, the care in the presentation and the smells - reminds guests that it is time for pleasure, relaxation and indulgence. There are not too many things in the world that can give us this feeling. 

Antipasti plates are an array of gourmet food, relying on the best seasonal produce and an abundance of delicious, easy to eat food. Meats often include Italian style meats like the prosciutto, pancetta, salami, capocollo, pepperoni and salsiccia. Cheese are the main highlight of any antipasto board and a large array of cheese to satisfy the palate needs to be present. Cheeses can include soft cheese like brie, hard cheeses like parmigiana-reggiano and pecorino or buffalo mozzarella, gorgonzola and swiss. Cheeses are complemented with apples, grapes, figs, honey and lots of crackers and breads. 

Fresh and marinated vegetables which are known as fillers are marinated olives, raw fruits, marinated eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, stuffed peppers, anchovies, dips and nuts. 

No matter the occasion, serving antipasto is the perfect way to slow things down and savour great food at a dinner, picnic, cocktail party—you name it.

Wonderful Salami

Ever wondered how to care for your salami? 

 

Heres a short guide on storage, mould and preparing your salumi.

Household storage

Storing your Salami at home is best done by wrapping your product in plastic wrap or freezer bag & placed in the veg crisper in the fridge. Ever enjoyed some beautiful Salami with friends then tried it a few days later to finds its very dry? This usually happens if stored in the main section of the fridge, here the humidity runs lower than in the veg crisper and drys out your Salami. 

Salami & Mould

Most traditional cured Salami should generate a wonderful mould on the outside of its casing. Why is the mould so good? The mould helps develop the overall aroma & complexity in addition to protecting your Salami. So a good covering of mould is a healthy sign of a good Salami.

Preparing your Salami

Its vitally important for the taste and texture of your Salami that you peel away the natural casing. If the Salami has been stored correctly the casing is easily removed. If the casing is hard and dry? Try wrapping in a moist towel to rehydrate the casing for easy removal. Finally, facing or removing the initial slice thats been exposed to the air is recommended. 

 

Tip!

So whats the difference between Salumi & Salami?

Salumi refers to salt and dry cured meats wheres Salami (Salame) is a cured sausage made from pork.