We really like cheese here at Jungle Jim's International Market! Our Cheese Department is a cheese-lover's paradise. A quick and easy platter to take to tailgates or parties is a fresh fruit and cheese board. Buy some of your favorites and then mix it up with a really unusual choice. Add some fresh fruit - you can see we had a delightful selection of fresh figs, strawberries and green grapes. Crackers, flatbread, baguettes and pita chips are just the tip of the carb ice berg to complete a truly fantastic cheese board. Read on... we'll give you some tips for assembling the board and some unique cheese selections.
In May of 2013, representatives of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board visited Jungle Jim's. They shared some great information with our employees that we can pass along to our customers. Their ideas for "putting on a show," help to make a decorative statement with a cheese board.
1. Color - make sure you select a range of colorful cheeses.
2. Shapes - make your cheese cuts interesting. Leave some larger pieces, cut some into cubes or slabs or wedges. Leave some cheese whole. Use a cookie cutter to make fun shapes. Place soft cheeses in pretty bowls.
3. Texture - mix the smooth with the crumbly.
4. Serving Pieces - choose wood cutting boards, granite or marble strips, mirrors or slate pieces to display the cheese.
5. Simple signs - make simple signs for the cheeses so guests can shop for them later. We cut off the label and taped it to a toothpick - you can't get any easier than that!
6. Order - depending on the cheeses you select, arrange them from mildest to strongest.
Some of our cooking classes include a "light snack" for students and the photos included in this post highlight the meat, fruit and cheese board we typically offer. There is a wide selection of cheese and a favorite salami, Bianco O'ro from the deli, on our board:
Hennings - natural cheddar cheese cubes
Crowley Sage cheese cubes (Crowley's makes a muffaletta, hot pepper or garlic chive)
Carr Valley Sweet Vanilla Cardona Cheese cubes - a nice, mild, slightly sweet goat cheese
Greve - a mild, Swiss-like Norwegian cheese
Emmi Classic Emmanthaler
Emmi mild Gruyere
Kenny's Farmhouse Cheddar
Jungle Jim's very own cheese balls in a variety of flavors
Brad Hacker, our Cheese Department Manager, answered a few quick questions for us. Since he is our resident cheese expert, we rely on his recommendations at the Cooking School for cheese selections.
Question: What is the most unusual cheese on the shelf right now?
Brad: Kokos Gouda made from cow's milk and coconut cream
Question: What is your recommendation for a soft spreadable cheese?
Brad: Mackenzie Creamery's Pumpkin Goat Cheese
Question: What hard cheese do you especially like?
Brad: Uniekaas aged gouda from Holland
Question: If you had to pick a cheese for lunch today, what would it be?
Brad: Cañarejal Creamoso - a raw sheep's milk brie served on crackers or bread
If you perchance have leftovers after a party, consider making a grilled cheese sandwich, super cheesy mac and cheese or try some different cheese on a pizza or in a calzone. Come and visit the cheese shop at Jungle Jim's for inspiration and don't be afraid to ask Brad for recommendations.
Attention Cheese Lovers! Join us for the Big Cheese Festival on February 8, 2014.