(BPT) - Cheese boards are a popular addition to any party or meal, and there’s a good reason why. They’re infinitely customizable to any theme, season or taste, and you can include items sure to please everyone’s palate. Cheese boards also pair well with another popular trend: Sustainability.
If you’re one of the many shoppers looking for sustainably sourced products, you’re in luck. Food producers are increasingly responsive to their customers’ desire for more environmentally responsible practices — in growing, producing and distributing the food you love to eat — including cheese.
To create a cheese board that tastes good and that you can feel good about serving, consider buying cheese made with Real California Milk.
The Real California Milk difference
California dairy farm families are world leaders in sustainable farming practices and producing nutritious, planet-smart dairy products that consumers enjoy. In fact, on average, 40% of a California dairy cow’s diet is made up of byproducts from food and fiber production, reducing the need to source other feed (less water, less land, fewer inputs) and keeping those byproducts out of the landfill.
Byproducts that humans can’t eat — like almond hulls, citrus pulp, trimmings, peels and more from fruits and vegetables, grape pomace and spent brewer’s grain from wine and beer — make for high-quality cow feed. By upcycling these byproducts into feed, California dairy farmers can raise healthy cows that produce nutritious milk used to create quality cheese.
How to find cheeses made with sustainably produced California milk? Just look for the Real California Milk seal. Dairy products that carry the Real California Milk seal are certified to have been made with milk from California dairy farm families.
How to make a sustainable grazing board
A typical cheese board contains just a few ounces of cheese per person, accompanied by a selection of other foods. You can pair cheeses with fruit, nuts, cured meats, thin slices of handmade bread, artisan crackers, olives and more to create a delicious and aesthetically pleasing board.
To create a sustainable grazing board, select three to five Real California cheeses of varying flavors and textures from soft to hard and mild to sharp, even pungent varieties. If you don’t know where to start, here are some suggestions.
- Bloomy rind cheese such as Brie, Camembert or Formagella
- Soft or washed-rind cheese such as Teleme or Crescenza
- Semi-firm hard cheese such as Aged Cheddar, Gouda, St. George or Toma
- Hard aged cheese such as Dry Jack or Aged Gouda
- Flavorful or pungent cheese such as Blue, Schloss or flavored and spiced cheeses
Add your favorite California ag accompaniments, including seasonal fruit or vegetables, dried fruits, vegetable chips, naturally roasted or candied nuts, honey and olives. Serve with fresh bread, artisan crackers, California wines, craft beers, ciders and fruit spritzers.
To see other meal ideas and learn more about sustainably sourced dairy products and where to find them, visit RealCaliforniaMilk.com.