Yes, Australia we know you are divided on celebrating Halloween but if you’re in the mood for sharing a cheese plate with your best spine chilling horror movie or creating a healthy sharing platter for the kids, here’s some colourful Halloween cheese plate inspiration.
It might be all about orange pumpkin Jack O’Lanterns but the perfect orange cheese for your Halloween treat is Red Leicester. Taking its name from it’s red rind and the English city of Leicester. As a result of cows grazing on fresh grass, with its high carotene content in spring/summer, there’s a natural orange tint to the milk. Other times of the year manufacturers use a natural food colouring, Annatto, from the seeds of the South American Achiote tree. Red Leicester is a member of the cheddar family, and like cheddars range in flavour as they mature. Sweet and mild when young but after 6 months aging start to develop that unmistakable “tang” of a mature cheddar.
It’s not until the black of night that spooky things happen! Bring some spooky black to your platter with black ash covered cheese, charocoal activated crackers, blackberries if you can find them or black seedless grapes.
While covering cheese in ash sounds weird enough for Halloween, it’s also a perfectly normal process for some goat’s cheese dating back to the 19th century! A coating of tasteless, sterile food grade charcoal promotes mould and rind growth and helps to neutralise overall acidity. The perfect ash cheese for your platter is Black Savourine. This matured goat cheese hails locally from the Yarra Valley and brings tastes of roast nuts, cooked cream and hints of blue flavours. With this cheese the white mould rind errupts through the black ash creating the perfect ghostly look Check out its shape too!
Not into goat cheese? Check out black wax rind cheeses such as King Island Roaring 40’s blue or aged cheddars such as Cracker Barrel Gold- Mature Cheddar, King Island Black Label Cheddar.
Red and Purple
Gorey blood and bleeding figures a bit at Halloween so let’s think of smears of a savoury jam rather than a cheese knife accident! A spicy strawberry balsamic or strawberry with hints of rhubarb jam pair fabulously with soft creamy cheeses such as brie or camembert. Raspberry jam is made for parmesan too!
Add some witchy magic purple to your plate with plentiful fresh blue berries or a savoury beetroot relish.
It wouldn’t be a Halloween cheese board without chunks of ghostly white cheese. Turn a fresh burrata into a ghost with the addition of currant eyes. This soft cow milk cheese made with fresh mozzarella and cream is the perfect ghostly shape. Firm fresh cheeses such as feta can be cut into ghostly shapes with black olive eyes while softer ricotta or cream cheese makes great ghostly spreads. Let’s not forget the sophisticated white mould cheeses that look stunning on your plate and taste even better! A wheel of double cream Brie or a slightly more intense Camembert or Clarins.
Finally, for a true trick and treat, a creamy blue cheese is the perfect trick with it’s beautifully clean white mould rind hiding a soft creamy blue centre! A Fromager D’Affinois Blue or Cantorel Bleu d’Auvergne is perfect for this tricky deception.