NEW YORK, NY, AUGUST 23, 2021 – After a year without dinner parties and convivial gatherings, many are excited to welcome loved-ones into their homes again. What better way to do so than with an easy, informal gathering with friends, eating a meal of delicious bites? This delightful, unfussy evening is a French cultural tradition, known as the apéro dînatoire: when the casual before-dinner drink known as apéro (short for apéritif) extends through the evening.
Charles Duque, Director of the French Dairy Board, shares some of his tips to elevate any apéro dînatoire with fromage.
The apéro dînatoire is great to introduce your guests to something different and play around with new flavors and products, says Duque. With highest standards for quality, taste, and traceability, Cheeses of Europe will bring French authenticity and epicurean discovery to a laid-back evening with friends.
Here are a few of his suggestions on how to wow your guests with an easy-going evening of European gastronomy through the rich diversity of cheeses:
Pair your food & drinks:
The apéro dînatoire is the perfect opportunity to explore food and drink pairings as you sip and taste throughout the evening. If you take a “what grows together goes together” approach, try Burgundy’s Époisses PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) with a white Bourgogne wine. Époisses is very creamy with a strong aroma and a smooth, soft, mouth-watering flavor that pairs beautifully. But don’t be afraid to think outside the box! The whole point is to be informal and have fun.
Create a stunning cheese board:
Boards are ideally suited to the informal snacking of the apéro dînatoire, adds Duque. Elevate yours with fromages of different milks, textures, and colors, ranging from a creamy, tangy Fresh Chèvre Log to a wedge of cow's milk Mimolette with a hard, bright orange paste and nutty flavor. You’ll create a grazing board that is visually beautiful, diverse, and delicious. Add crackers, bread, fresh fruit, nuts, and charcuterie for endless combinations.
Curate gourmet bites:
Food at your apéro dînatoire should be easy to make and easy to eat, but that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice quality and taste! Use quality products to make simple recipes extraordinary, like baconwrapped dates with Bleu d’Auvergne PDO. The creamy texture and herbal spice of Bleu d’Auvergne PDO will tie together the sweet dates and salty bacon in this quick and decadent recipe.
About Cheeses of Europe The Cheeses of Europe Marketing Council: Composed of French dairy farmers and cheese firms, the Council is led by The French Dairy Inter-Branch Organization (CNIEL) and by the French Goat milk producers and processors Association (ANICAP). The Council’s mission is to create awareness about the variety of the cheeses of Europe available on the US market and the multiple ways that American consumers can incorporate the cheeses into their diets, their recipes and their lifestyles. The Cheeses of Europe Marketing Council develops national and regional programs to build awareness and demand for The Cheeses of Europe throughout the United States and the world. Our goal is to create an appealing impression of imported cheeses of Europe that sets them apart as a unique group and strengthens their competitive position in the growing specialty cheese category.
Francesca Riggio c/o Sopexa USA for Cheeses of Europe