If you’ve been paying attention to Instagram at all over the last year you’ve seen them, marvelous cheese platters. Often times, it’s a cheese shop's catering department but all too often, it’s a person that just does them for fun. The explosion of cheese platters online got me thinking about the time old tradition of ordering a cheese plate at a restaurant.
The thought behind ordering a plate at a restaurant is that there is a level of knowledge around what's put on the plate. I mean, you are paying a bit of money for a great meal so why wouldn't the cheese plate also be composed and thoughtful? Honestly, that's not what I've experienced when ordering a cheese plate. When I have, I've found that the wait staff can't tell me anything about what's on the plate or there just isn't enough distinction on the menu to really suss out if it's worth the money. So, I'm starting a series where I actually order the cheese plate in different places and tell you about them. The good, the bad, and the delicious.
The parameters: These are the things I expect when paying for a cheese plate so, this is what I will be weighing most of my critiques on.
1. The wait staff needs to be able to tell me what's on the plate.
-WHO produced it (cheesemaker, farm, etc)
-WHAT type of milk it is
-WHERE it comes from (state, town, place)
2. Are there accouterments on the plate? Is so, what purpose do they serve? Is there a composed bite and if so, what is it?
3. Is it beautiful?
4. Is it worth the money?
Pretty simple stuff, really. Living in Seattle means that most restaurants can tell you specifically where they source their meat or vegetables so, I think it's time that the expectation extends to the cheese plate.
Now that we have the parameters set, let's eat some cheese! Stay tuned for the first plate and I hope that you will tell me all about the plates near you!