Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Say Cheese for Holiday Entertaining By Shirley Raye Redmond

England’s Queen Victoria received an enormous 1,100 pound wheel of cheddar cheese as a wedding present in 1849. King David in the Old Testament took ten huge cheeses to feed King Saul’s hungry army. This holiday season is a perfect time to add cheese to your entertainment menu.

Experiment with mushrooms stuff with Gouda or try a Fontina fondue. Be adventurous. There’s a cheese to satisfy most any set of taste buds. Serve cheese on a clean cheese board or platter. Vary the selections between mild and strong, soft and hard. Place tags in front of each selection so guests will know what they are sampling. Remember to serve ripe cheeses at room temperature and soft cheese slightly chilled.

The following is a brief sampler to help you plan your holiday celebrations. What’s your favorite cheese to serve for the holidays?
  • Asiago— originally made from sheep’s milk, this cheese stands out in pasta sauces and pestos.
  • Blue cheese—this blue-veined cheese has a hardy flavor that goes well in salad dressings and sauces.
  • Brie—often called the cheese of kings because of its popularity among French monarchs, this creamy cheese is delicious served with fresh nectarines or sour cherry preserves.
  • Camembert—said to be Napoleon’s favorite, this soft cheese goes well with fruit and crackers or even shortbread cookies.
  • Cheddar—a hard English cheese that goes well with apples and walnuts. Edam—a firm Dutch cheese with a red coat, it is low in calories and complements grapes, dates and nuts.
  • Fontina—a rich Italian cheese often used in place of Swiss in fondues and sauces. Goes well with sliced pears.
  • Muenster—a creamy cheese that goes well in sandwiches or served at room temperature with apples and cashews.
  • Neufchatel—a mild white cheese that can be served chilled with berries.

An award-winning writer and frequent conference speaker,Shirley Raye Redmond is the author of two inspirational historical novels, PRUDENCE PURSUED and AMANDA’S BEAU, as well as two dozen children’s books. Shirley Raye holds an M.A. in literature. She has been married to her husband Bill for forty years. They live in New Mexico and are blessed with two grown children, two adorable grandsons, and one spunky Scottish terrier. Touch bases at or Facebook and


  1. I'm not familiar with a few of these cheeses. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It's a good time to try one or two new ones. :)

  2. I'm not much of a cheese eater, but this was interesting. I love the tree idea.....only using cherry tomatoes, olives and chopped celery.

  3. A cute display of cheese and grapes. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Thanks for the list of cheese and what they are. I am not a cheese connoisseur, preferring Pepper jack or mild chedder, but some on the list sound interesting.