There was a turning point in my level of cheese appreciation. I was living in Japan, where dairy options were limited at the time, and one day, out of the blue, I got this craving for Canadian cheddar. It was then that I realized cheese wasn’t just a European thing and it didn’t have to be fancy or complicated. In more recent years at large gatherings with friends, I’m always amazed at the cheese plates we assemble based purely on our individual preferences. And yet, I rarely prep a cheese board on my own because my oeuvre seems so small.
So with summer gatherings and picnics on the mind, we gathered a three-person panel of cheese experts and whittled down their responses to seven tips and 11 cheese recommendations that will help take the guesswork out of your time at the deli counter. Our panel consists of Vancouver-based food stylist and chef Lawren Moneta; Maitre Fromager Afrim Pristine of The Cheese Boutique and Gurth Pretty of Loblaws who assured us that when it comes to cheese, all you need is “a knife and a board to enjoy.”
Browse the gallery below for tips and cheese recommendations, straight from the pros.