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By Laura Stec

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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Cheese Plate - Disrupted

Uploaded: Nov 10, 2022

Cheese plates - same ol', same ol'...

I've been making them in similar ways for years. A mixed up jumble with a cheese knife.

-photo by Christine Krieg

Any chance to change it up this year?

Brie with cow and cuc

Give your guests a new look this holiday season. It's easy and fun!

At Neely Wineries fall release this week in Portola Valley, we broke old traditions with new cheese cuts and unexpected pairs

Manchego with Ajika popcorn

Tried out smaller platters, but used more of them.

Date cheddar

Repetitive patterns offer eye candy.

fall fruit: kiwi persimmon pomegranate

The plates can be prepped beforehand and assembled as the party begins. When guests ask "is there anything I can do?" put them to work being creative.

Life is a daring adventure!

- photos by LSIC unless noted

- photo by Tina Jones

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Erin Hawke, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 10:29 am

Erin Hawke is a registered user.

One can never go wrong with an antipasto platter as it covers all of the bases.

Posted by Butch Logan, a resident of Barron Park,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 1:37 pm

Butch Logan is a registered user.

Mini-Pigs in a Blanket using Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and split Vienna Sausage or hot dogs with a slice of Cheddar Cheese inside works for us.

Various dipping sauces (i.e. Barbeque, Teriyaki etc.) can add unique nuances of flavor.

Posted by Lucy Caldwell, a resident of Midtown,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 2:36 pm

Lucy Caldwell is a registered user.

Another appetizer option are those Jeno's Pizza Rolls. We serve them all the time and the prep is minimal.

Posted by Jessica Zhiang, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 3:21 pm

Jessica Zhiang is a registered user.

Since cheese is not part of a traditional Asian diet, we are not familiar with the many varieties.

It is my understanding that so-called processed cheeses like American and Velveeta are not true cheeses but very popular among Americans.

Posted by Harvey Klein, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Nov 11, 2022 at 8:27 am

Harvey Klein is a registered user.

Jessica...American Cheese and Velveeta might be the only true 'American' cheeses though they are not made in the traditional manner.

Most of our popular cheeses originated from European countries (England, France, Italy, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and Norway).

Like beer, these cheeses were introduced to America by immigrants who were very adept at the fermentation process and dairy production.

Posted by Laura Stec, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Nov 11, 2022 at 8:47 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Actually, there are a lot of American cheeses now. New styles created by artisan producers such as Mt Tam by Cowgirl Creamery and Humboldt Fog by Cypress Grove.

Posted by Fritz Weldon, a resident of Los Altos,
on Nov 11, 2022 at 9:29 am

Fritz Weldon is a registered user.

@Laura Stec...perhaps but these new American artisan cheeses have not gone mainstream like the aforementioned European originals.

I would imagine that they are best suited at present for upscale wine & cheese parties.

We will probably not be seeing them on a basic cheeseburger anytime soon unless it involves a $50.00 'artisan' cheeseburger with an esoteric menu description.

Posted by Noelle Whitlock, a resident of Community Center,
on Nov 11, 2022 at 11:49 am

Noelle Whitlock is a registered user.

American Cheese and Velveeta are only good for mediocre grilled cheese sandwiches or as a melted pouring sauce over mediocre nachos.

Other than that, they serve no culinary purpose.

Posted by Teresa Graham, a resident of Downtown North,
on Nov 12, 2022 at 2:19 pm

Teresa Graham is a registered user.

When it comes to cheese platters, I try to keep things simple...a few assorted medium textured cheeses, a couple of spreadable ones, some assorted seedless grapes + red/white wines and some sparklers (champagne).

Any suggestions on the crackers and bread? I generally run with a sliced sourdough baguette or those thinly sliced mini-loaves of pumpernickel and rye,
and some Ritz Crackers.

One bread item I refuse to serve are those horrid puffed rice cakes which offer no nutritional value and resemble styrofoam.

Do people actually eat puffed rice cakes?

Posted by Jacob Weiss, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Nov 13, 2022 at 9:37 am

Jacob Weiss is a registered user.

• Since cheese is not part of a traditional Asian diet, we are not familiar with the many varieties.

What better reason not to try as many foreign & domestic cheeses as you can given that cheese is a key part of the American culture and diet.

Eating raw fish is not a traditional part of the American or Jewish diet but after sampling a California Roll decades ago, I have since moved on to enjoying a variety of different raw tunas and striped bass.

Fusion technique is the modern-day excuse/explanation for a number of hybrid dishes that contain elements of different cultures.

Maybe try a cream cheese/crabmeat sushi roll as your first foray.

Incorporating stronger cheeses like Limburger and Roquefort can come later as your olfactory senses further evolve.

Posted by Laura Stec, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Nov 13, 2022 at 9:50 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

@Teresa, Here's a macrobiotic tip to greatly improve those rice cakes. Out of the package they are cardboard, I agree. So rescue them in the oven! Roast on a baking sheet for 5 - 10 minutes at 350F. They crisp up and become really good. For a topper, spread on a mix of roasted winter squash and almond butter for a delicious, veggie-forward breakfast.

Posted by Riley Calhoun, a resident of Midtown,
on Nov 13, 2022 at 2:23 pm

Riley Calhoun is a registered user.

Hawaiians have something called musabi. It is a form of sushi with seasoned rice and nori (seaweed) except that they put a teriyaki-glazed slice of SPAM in the middle. It's actually pretty good.

I make a variation at home using Honey Baked Ham or lightly smoked slab bacon as regular hickory-smoked bacon can be a bit overpowering.

Smoked salmon also works well.

As for the wine-cheese thing, some Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese (red label) along with Ritz Crackers and Barefoot Chardonnay and Merlot usually suffices as there is no need for me to put on any airs.

I also like to include chilled wedges of Fuji Apples and I keep them in a container of iced water to prevent them from browning.

Posted by Laura Stec, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Nov 13, 2022 at 6:32 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

@Riley, I was at a conference where a speaker asked, "Guess what state buys the most Spam?" A: Hawaii!

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