How to Eat Cheese – In a Formal Setting?
Fingers or Toothpick:
The most common ways of eating cheese are either by using a toothpick or a knife. How you actually transport the morsel of cheese to your mouth depends on the kind of cheese is served on your plate. For the harder kinds, served on your plates as bite-sized cubes, using toothpicks is the best way.
Using knives makes perfect sense as well, especially for the soft, creamy ones. Dinner knives are not really sharp. Therefore, you can eat the cheese directly from the knives. This not only makes eating cheese a simpler and non-fussy process, but also lets you eat it like a pro.
The biggest doubt is, however, to decide whether you can eat cheese with your fingers. Contrary to the common belief, eating cheese with fingers or hands is perfectly acceptable in a formal setting. You can use your fingers to eat the harder cheeses. However, do not try using your fingers for the soft, creamy ones.
Order of Eating Cheese:
In a formal setting, the order is which cheese is served on your plate is also of great significance. Always, start with the mildest cheese served and then move on to stronger ones. The stronger cheeses have more distinct flavors in them. Therefore, eating a mild cheese after a strong one will not let you know enjoy the subtle flavor and nuances of the former. It is absolutely fine to ask the server, even in a formal setting, if you cannot decide which one is the mildest. In fact, the server is supposed to serve the cheese to you in this order.
Cheeses are always served with breads and crackers and there’s a specific reason for doing so. The breads and crackers are not served as the base on which you should spread your cheese on. When you do so, it actually disintegrates the integrity and natural structure of the cheese and as a result, you do not enjoy the perfect taste of it. It is best to eat cheeses that are broken into chunks along the natural breaking points. This is also the reason why harder cheeses are served in small irregular pieces on your plate. Therefore, it is best to eat the breads or the crackers as “accompaniments”. Do not spread the cheese on them. Rather, use them as taste-cleansers. Eat the cheese individually and then eat the crackers to change the taste of your palate, so that by the time you move on to the next piece, you can enjoy it fully.
Eat Cheese with your Senses:
Last, but not the least, eating cheese is an art that needs a combination of all your senses. Not just your taste buds, it is the smell, touch and feel that makes the cheese-eating ceremony really worthy. Touching your cheese and feeling its style and texture adds on to your experience as much as the real tastes do. Also, always smell your cheese before eating – as far as cheese is concerned, eating it with your nose is equally satisfying, or perhaps more.
Photo Courtesy: www.fotobank.ru and www.thequickanddirtydirty.com