Little Seed, Big Flavor: Choosing Mustard for the Cheese Plate
Fruit preserves, nuts, and honey often get the glory when it comes to creating a mouthwatering cheese plate, but savory can
be just as tempting.
Take classic mustard, for instance. There’s a diverse choice of specialty mustards on the market, flavored with everything from ale or Champagne vinegar to fresh herbs or fruit. Not all are compatible with cheese—anything too sweet or pungent can overload your palate, obscuring, rather than enhancing, the main attraction. But more subtle mustard, such as a coarse-grained variety, is ideal for balanced flavor and textural contrast. Says Guy Tullberg of the Tracklement Company, a UK-based manufacturer of handcrafted, small-batch mustards, “Coarse grain mustard—especially those that use whole seeds, which retain all of the essential oils—lends a clean, clear taste when accompanying cheese, especially harder varieties or some of the strong washed rinds.”
Partnered up with smoked meats or sausage, pumpernickel or rye bread, and cornichons, a wedge of cheese and a small bowl of mustard make for a hearty cheese plate, satisfying light supper, or easy picnic fare. Want to up the ante? Try making your own mustard; you’ll be surprised at just how easy it is.
Written by Laurel Miller