25 Dec2010


A nice cheese tray/selection always makes almost any holiday gathering more special. During the holidays, we always try to make every effort to acquire at least 10-12 cheeses that we store in the fridge for either formal dinners or impromptu afternoon snacks. Mrs. MM and the Teen are particularly voracious when it comes to cheese, though MM is rapidly catching up on the consumption side… In this case, this tray was a prelude to a holiday dinner; and we put out 6 different kinds of cheese: livarot, camembert, reblochon, a brick of goat’s cheese, boursin and some blue cheese or gorgonzola. The cheeses were laid on pieces of dried sampaloc (tamarind) tree trunks, which were set over a bed of fresh pine branches. It looked festive yet “natural” — though why anyone would be picnicking on cheese in the midst of an evergreen forest is beyond me. :) All of this was contained in a humongous brass tray that I purchased at mega-discount earlier this year…


There were also a couple of olive wood bowls filled with salted pecans, the freshest of the recent Georgian Fall harvest, sent by Sister for the holidays. You could also add some dried fruit to this tray, or maybe bunches of grapes. Crackers could also be laid around the tray. We are just as likely to serve cheese as pica-pica right at the start of the evening, or after the main course and salad course in a more formal dinner… Surprisingly, a little cheese goes a long way when served in this manner. Small wheels can easily last 2-3 meals, depending on the humber of guests you have over to dinner. If you are lucky enough to have easy access to these Malagos farmhouse cheeses made in Davao, you can do a similar spread. And still in search of more cheese related posts? How about this one on a sinfully delicious triple cream and other cheeses? Heaven on earth. :)



  1. Mimi says:

    Mapayapang Pasko, MM! This year we had 3 cheeses – an aged cheddar, which my son picked because it was beautifully wrapped in black wax, so yummy yet stinky!, QdB, and labneh, made from drained Fage Total yoghurt. Just dump a tub of yoghurt in a coffee filter, put back the lid, drain in the same tub overnight (I crumpled a paper towel to elevate the yoghurt to drain). Next day, spread thick ‘cheese’ on plate and sprinkle w/ preferred salt, generous drizzle of EVOO. So yummy on hot pandesal. Enjoy!

    Dec 25, 2010 | 3:51 pm


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  3. aquamaldita says:

    Merry Christmas to you Mr. MM and to your beautiful family! More power! :)

    Dec 25, 2010 | 5:57 pm

  4. bearhug0127 says:

    Nice spread, MM.:D

    Dec 25, 2010 | 8:23 pm

  5. Mom-Friday says:

    What a lovely spread! :)
    MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your family!

    Dec 25, 2010 | 11:55 pm

  6. jplusoandd says:

    Merry Christmas, MM!. Picked a few cheese selections and hand-sliced Nova salmon from Zabar’s last night as well. Yum, yum, yum!

    Dec 26, 2010 | 1:01 am

  7. tingting says:

    watta cheesy christmas! merry christmas!

    Dec 26, 2010 | 1:13 am

  8. emily says:

    or toasted croissant

    Dec 26, 2010 | 1:33 am

  9. millet says:

    nice presentation, MM, the cheese platter is a christmas must in my home, too. this year, our bleu earlier went into the pasta with walnuts and cream for christmas eve dinner. the platter had 3 kinds of malagos cheeses (blush, blue pepatto and a semi-hard type studded with herbs and olive bits ( i think that’s what they are), and queso de bola. the camembert i’m saving for new year’s eve for baked camembert with honey and walnuts. i got a pack of malagos ricotta to pair with fruit sometime this week.

    i like to keep small portions of the cheeses in a plastic container in the fridge so the kids can dip in anytime.

    Dec 26, 2010 | 12:16 pm

  10. chreylle says:

    i have also a tray of diff. cheeses last christmas eve and thats because u influenced me alot MM

    Dec 26, 2010 | 7:27 pm

  11. Gregory Guy says:

    Hey MM,

    Quite a good selection of cheese you have there. You might be glad to know that L’Atelier de Joel Robouchon in Paris uses the same cheese. Livarot, Camembert, and Roblochon Ferm. We also use St. Maure for the goat cheese, and Rocquefort for blue cheese.

    Im currently doing my internship there and will be heading back to Manila anytime from Mid January – Mid February.

    Let me know if i can get you anything from Paris. I’ll try my best to deliver.

    Dec 27, 2010 | 2:36 am

  12. christina foss says:

    One of the best places to eat cheese is on a picnic blanket in the middle of a forest in rural France- with some baguettes, fruit and of course the requisite bottle-or 2- of wine. Ahh, Heaven! Among my best memories of living in France…

    Dec 27, 2010 | 5:27 am

  13. kayenne says:

    where did you get the dried sampaloc trunks? they’re lovely. we’re not big on cheeses here.. the only kind you will see on our Christmas spread is Eden cheese… which is not even, technically a cheese. there’s the occasional mild mozzarella, provolone or parmesan when a dish calls for it… but nothing really by way of anything very sharp or particularly stinky, just to nibble on. but the trunk!!! i love the trunk!

    Dec 27, 2010 | 6:43 pm

  14. Bubut says:

    i envy your cheese, we just have the regular queso de bola from magnolia… i should be going to rustans at rockwell, to check on those malagos cheese…Thanks for the photos of cheese.

    Dec 28, 2010 | 8:11 am

  15. Marketman says:

    Kayenne, got them roadside on a trip to the North, they were about PHP20 each! christina, sounds ideal to me… Gregory Guy, how cool, I have a nephew who is also doing a stage in Paris… thanks for the offer, its very generous, but I will leave you room in your luggage to cart back all the spices and goodies you now have access to! Thanks. :) chreylle, I hope you enjoyed them! :)

    Dec 28, 2010 | 4:36 pm

  16. Gina says:

    Dec 29, 2010 | 2:54 am

  17. Betchay says:

    Just love your cheese platter! I’m salivating now for the Blue cheese. MM, How do you store your cheese loot properly?I always have problems with molds.Does it mean my ref is not on the right temp?thanks

    Dec 29, 2010 | 9:38 am

  18. lee says:

    lavet! naglalaway ako sa cheese hehe!

    Dec 29, 2010 | 7:13 pm

  19. atbnorge says:

    It’s nice to picnic on cheese on a warm summer’s day—in the forest or near a river and fishing for trout. Lovely, lovely, lovely! We usually take waffles topped with brunost (a type of brown goat’s cheese) and sprinkled with a little sugar, yummo!

    I am the type who don’t go window shopping, but I oogle a lot on the cheeses whenever I am at the grocery store…I laughed out loud when a relative of mine first tasted brie and saw the grimace on her face. Maganda lang daw ang pangalan.

    Dec 29, 2010 | 10:44 pm

  20. millet says:

    ..and yes, aside from amazing malagos cheeses, davaoenos also have access to access to wonderful charcuterie from swiss deli! i think they’re available in some manila supermarkets. two major brands are available here, but i prefer “swiss deli” to the other swiss.

    Jan 2, 2011 | 10:27 am

  21. satomi says:

    I love cheese!!! my fave’s are Asiago, Manchego, Camembert, Brie, Gorgonzola, Feta, Goat cheese and many more!!
    This is one of favorites baked Camembert Cheese or Brie with or without the Phyllo Dough. Sprinkle dried cherries/cranberries, walnuts/almonds and drizzle honey or maple syrup over and bake 350 Deg for 5-10 mins!! Yumm!!!

    Jan 21, 2011 | 1:54 am

  22. cheesextreme says:

    Sir MM where did you buy exactly, these 6 gorgeous cheeses?

    Feb 24, 2012 | 8:01 pm

  23. Marketman says:

    cheesextreme, S&L Fine Foods, check my archives, I have written about them several times… :)

    Feb 24, 2012 | 9:51 pm


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