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The Ultimate Wisconsin Artisanal Cheese Plate
Assembling a mind-blowing cheese plate means hooking up with some of the best products our state has to offer. It starts with the dairy component.

Photo by Adam Ryan Morris; food styling by Tamara Kaufman.

1. Petit Frère, nutty with a trace of fruitiness, is spreadable bliss. 2. This golden filet of oily greatness? A farm-raised smoked trout from Palmyra’s Rushing Waters Fisheries. 3. Underground Meats makes some knockout cured sausages, including Spanish chorizo and Tuscan salami. 4. Group cheeses with character and contrast such as this Dunbarton Blue and Bleu Mont Dairy cave-aged cheddar. 5. Use crispy, sturdy crackers, like these made by Potter’s, in flavors such as wheat, caramelized onion, and rosemary. 6. For dipping oils, we like the fruity, heady olive oils by Mas des Bories, a French company with Wisco ties. 7. Something with color, crunch and tang – pickled veggies (or mushrooms) from River Valley Ranch. 8. Treat Bake Shop’s sweet, peppery spiced pecans. 9. A chewy, crusty baguette from Rocket Baby Bakery.



STEP ONE:
Aim for three to five selections. Varying the texture is important – pairing a soft, Brie-like cheese, with semi-soft and firm choices. Instead of all cow’s milk cheeses, add a goat and/or sheep’s milk cheese to the mix. Keep in mind that the flavors and textures will benefit from serving them at room temperature. For color and a shot of pungency, include a blue or washed rind cheese.

STEP TWO:
Add salami and/or other cured meats for a funky, rustic edge.

STEP THREE:
Buy the best baguette you can find as well as a high-quality olive oil for dipping.

STEP FOUR:
Round up some fruit preserves or honey for sweetness.

 

STEP FIVE:
Integrate more texture with a neutral cracker and a bowl of fresh or spiced nuts. Slice up some fresh apple or pear, and voila.

This article appears in the May 2013 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.
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