French Inspired Cheese Board For Bastille Day
Francophiles: Prepare your cheese plates.
Bastille Day marks French National Day, or la fête nationale, a holiday that celebrates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. It’s the perfect excuse to enjoy some wonderful fromage and a cold glass of rosé—and all the French wines with fellow Francophiles!
I guarantee that your guests will love your French inspired cheese board to celebrate! When it comes to parties and enjoyment in general, the French have it down. You can taste the pride that goes into everything they do. The great thing about something like a cheese board is that you can make it your own – there is no wrong way to create a cheese board. So it’s super easy because who has time to stress when hosting a fun gathering?! Not me!
The concept is simple: Gather 3 or 4 of your favorite french cheeses and then build around them. Choose a variety of salty and sweet snacks to fill in the space between the cheese. It’s great to fill that space with different textures, colors, and flavors. This makes the cheese board more visually appealing and fun to eat. (and photograph) I love to use assorted fruits, olives, and some charcuterie because who does not appreciate salted, cured meats on a cheese board?! I love prosciutto, salami, and pepperoni! I even love to include chocolate if I have some on hand. The final component to a cheese board is the actual board or surface on which the items are placed. Surfaces can include a cutting board or serving platter. This is one of those things that’s totally customizable and what makes them unique to you! Just see what you have laying around in your pantry.
When we’re talking cheese it doesn’t get any better than cheese from France—what everyone says about French cheese is true – it’s the best. Only the French can turn eating blue cheese and sipping red wine at a cafe into a religious experience. The great news is that you can find fantastic French wine and cheese in the United States. These products are easy to find and affordable as well. I love being able to re-create that French wine and cheese magic at home (even though I definitely wouldn’t mind being in Paris for Bastille Day)
When it comes to French cheese in America, I have a few favorites that Sweet Freedom Cheese in Bentonville helped me with! There are a few things to do in Bentonville to help you feel very French which you can read about here.
I highly recommend adding a Camembert to your cheese board. Camembert is a moist, soft, creamy, surface-ripened cow's milk cheese. It was first made in the late 18th century at Camembert, Normandy, in northern France. It is similar to Brie, which is native to the Brie region of France. It’s so mild and creamy. I would also add a Persillé de Chèvre. This is an original farmhouse blue cheese. It has the creamy and fatty texture of a Fourme, as well as the same strong flavor, but it has these aroma of goat cheese! It is veined with blue or green mold in a uniform manner. Its friable paste oozes, but must be "buttery," that is to say unctuous and well blended. The cheese has a sweet cream undertone with notes of earth and salt. Its rind is coated with a vegetable ash. I would definitely include a Roquefort. Roquefort, arguably the worlds greatest blue, has had its name and methods protected since 1411! Roquefort's heavenly flavor is reminiscent of the cavern air where the cheese ripens and the mold naturally grows, transmogrifying the Lacaune ewe's milk it's made of. This variety is round, deep, and perfectly balanced: big, creamy chunks of the paste dissolve on the palate like sharp, soothing milky lozenges. Sweet and fudgy, its linger is peppery and sometimes quite spicy. You also cannot go wrong with Le Scret des Lys. Made near the village of Cleron high in the mountains of the Franche-Comte region by the Perrin family, Le Secret des Lys is a fragile cheese that is matured in a small ceramic dish which enables the cheese to hold its form as it slowly ripens.The evoking fresh earthy and mushroom aromas of the rind give way to buttery and creamy flavors on the palate, finishing with a very slight citrus tang that is void of any bitterness. Its dense cake-like texture dissipates quickly to an almost melt-in-the-mouth like quality which can be quite moreish once you get started! The little terracotta pot which Le Secret des Lys comes in can be heated. For a decadent finish to any meal remove from packaging and heat gently in the oven prior to serving with crusty bread and a sparkling white. It’s absolute heaven!!!!
Grab some grapes, apricots, bread, salty meat, and honey…olives, chocolate….and don’t forget the french wine and you are ready to go!! So simple, no?! And of course do not include the package wrappers with the names of the cheeses—actually make something pretty!!!