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California Cheese Centerpiece – Round

Recipes

Ingredients:

Variety of firm to medium (semi-firm) Real California Cheeses (find them here: https://www.realcaliforniamilk.com/cheese-makers) Shown in arrangement: – Real California Dry Jack cheese wedges – Real California Wine-soaked Cheddar wedges – Real California Triple Cream cheese wedges – Salumi or salami, made into roses Fresh fruits and vegetables: – Mini clementines or kumquats – Grapes or currants (both shown) – Fresh figs – Gooseberries – Cucamelons or mini cucumbers – Cherry tomatoes (tiger stripe tomatoes shown but any small tomato works) Garnishes: – Bay leaf stems – Olive leaf stems – Rosemary branches – Lavender stems – Sage bunches – Chive or garlic flowers or any edible flower with a stem Tools and Materials: – Circular tray or plate – Craft or flora foam (half sphere shape that is at least 1-inch smaller in diameter than your tray) – Double-sided tape – Plastic wrap – Toothpicks, U-shape bamboo toothpicks (optional) – Cookie cutter shapes (optional) Cheese, Centerpiece, Holiday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, Edible Arrangement, Cheddar, Gouda, Dry Jack, Fruits and Veggies
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Directions:

1. Cover foam in plastic wrap to protect food from making contact with the foam.

2. Use double-sided tape to secure the foam to the tray.

3. Now you can start assembling the centerpiece. Start from the bottom and work your way up to the top of the sphere.

4. Use the bulk of your leafy garnishment (bay leaf stems, olive leaf stems, sage bunches) on the bottom layer to create a base and coverage by poking the stems into the foam. If needed you can trim the bottom of the stem in a diagonal direction to create a more pokey end OR use a toothpick to pierce a hole in the place where you want to insert stems.

5. For best visual appeal, fruits like grapes and currants should be arranged to kind of flow over the edge of the tray near the bottom as well. PRO TIP: Use “U” shaped bamboo toothpicks to secure the stems of the hanging fruits into the foam.

6. From here use toothpicks to secure cheese wedges, salumi roses, fruits and vegetables into the foam. Cut shorter, triangular pieces of cheese (as opposed to longer triangular pieces used for a long/rectangular centerpiece). Use any tall wedges near the bottom where they will be easy to grab but not sticking out too far if placed near the top. You can use cookie cutter shapes as well for the cheeses, if desired.

7. Finally, take any of the smaller garnish pieces you have (lavender, chive flowers, rosemary ends, loose leaves) to fill in the spaces between all the items.

Prepared in partnership with Jessica Lawrenz @mongermoldandmilk

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