Make your own VT cheese board
It's a staple of any holiday party, the cheese platter. In Vermont, we're fortunate to have access to some great local cheeses. So which cheeses should you use when making up your cheese board this season? Scott Fleishman went to the year-round specialty food store, Woodstock Farmers Market, to get a lesson from manager, Amelia Rappaort.
Scott Fleishman: So, Amelia, The Woodstock Farmers' Market carries 110 cheeses and of those cheeses, 80 of them are from Vermont. That brings us to this awesome cheese board. Now, this is a cheese board that you make here at the Woodstock Farmers' Market for catering.
Amelia Rappaport: Correct. You can order this from our catering department. We have a couple of different sizes of cheese platters and this is our large Vermont cheese platter and we feature sort of a rotating array of different Vermont cheeses with accompaniments, but it's just as easy to make one yourself if you want to give it a try.
Scott Fleishman: So, what are the keys when you want to build a great local Vermont cheeseboard?
Amelia Rappaport: I would say the first thing is, there's no wrong way to do it. Anything you do is going to be delicious, because the products are delicious. What we like to suggest is that you do a variety of textures, milks, flavors, so there's something for everybody. It's really fun to mix and match and try different combinations and see what works for you. We're happy to offer tastes too. So, if you see something that you haven't tried before, just ask.
Scott Fleishman: What are some other pieces of advice do you have for someone who is just coming in?
Amelia Rappaport: I would say, what do you know you would like? Do you know that you like cheddar? Do you know that you like sharp cheddar? That's a good place to start. Do you know that you like Fontina? We can find something that's like a Fontina for you. If you like Roquefort, what is like Roquefort? We can help you if you know what you like from your favorite European cheeses or other things that you've tried around. But, it's also fun to just put some pairings with it. We have here a Vermont made quince paste. A traditional membrillo, but made with Vermont quince and that's delicious with cheese. That makes it more than just cheese on a toothpick.
Scott Fleishman: What are some other Vermont products that people can enjoy with the cheese?
Amelia Rappaport: Sure. A cracker is a natural accompaniment to a cheese platter and we have some great Vermont made crackers from Castleton Cracker Company and Jan's Farmhouse Crisps. We have some absolutely amazing Vermont made salami from Babette's Table that is made from locally sourced pigs and it's all hand made in a European way. We have Vermont made wines and things that come from the same soil tend to taste good together and so, with your Vermont cheeses, you may want to try some Vermont wines. We have Vermont jams and honeys and other things that are great to try on a cheese platter with the cheese."
Scott Fleishman: It's a good first step to getting people's cheese platters going for the holiday season.
Amelia Rappaport: Absolutely.
Scott Fleishman: Thanks Amelia.