| 95 According to legend, an Arab merchant once placed his milk provisions in a sheepskin ask andwalked through the desert all day, carrying the ask onhis shoulder. Due to the heat of the sun and his slow, rhythmic strides, the milk slowly clotted, with the curds andwhey separating. That night, the merchant quenched his thirst with the whey, and fed his hunger with the curd... From that day forward, the exciting, rich, often controversial history of this food has developed, and the coincidental creation is a common denominator of all top cheeses. It is believed that travellers from Asia brought cheese to Europe. It was made in ancient Greece, in many parts of the Roman Empire, with the Romans carrying the art of cheesemaking all the way to England. During the Middle Ages – from the fall of the Roman Empire to the discovery of America – monks perfected cheesemaking inmonasteries throughout Europe.Thus the famousGorgonzola was created in the valley of the River Po in Italy in 879AD, and Roquefort was being produced a century and a half later, in the monasteries in France, and both of these types have to this day retained their status as luxurious, ne avours. The array of cheeses expanded, tastes changed, centuries passed, but some types remain symbols of hedonism and luxury to this day. Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Camembert, Brie, Pecorino, Parmesan, Stilton, Gruyère, Halloumi and dozens of other cheeses compose the inevitable components of every selection striving for sophistication. Cheese, wine and bread are the ‘holy trinity’ of every Frenchman, and pairing wine and cheese has become a special skill that a few rare connoisseurs have managed to elevate to the level of an art. Even those who say that this is the level of top nonsense don’t dispute that cheese, wine and bread represent the‘holy trinity’ of gastronomy gifted to the world by the French. Connoisseurs say that the seductive, unusual avours of cheese require a largewoodenplatter for the most tting presentation. Just as each picture has its own frame, so cheeses have wood as the perfect base for presenting and tasting. Of course, inhyper-luxurious varieties everything’s permitted, so cheeses are served on crystalline, marble, gilt and even golden platters. But, whichever way they are served, there are rules that must be respected. 1. Just as a bouquet of owers must be arranged, so a platter of cheeses has a rulewhereby an odd number should be served, of at least threetypesofcheeseofdi erentcolour, texturesand rmness. When served as an appetiser, a maximum of ve types are served, while for a dessert platter the desired selection includes as many as nine types of cheese. 2. In order for all the fullness of di erent avours to be felt, cheeses are arranged in a circle, progressing clockwise. It starts at noon with the mildest cheeses, and continues towards those that are the most intense. The rule is: Start mild, nish strong!! Cheeses with very intense aromas must be served separately on a special plate, in order for the milder cheeses not to take on that dominant aroma. 3. With all their exclusivity of taste, cheeses need an accompaniment. In more recent times that has meant combinations of cheese and ne jams with pieces of fruit, from sweet to bitter. Alongside a cheese platter can be served chutneys of various avours, olive tapenade or sauces made from horseradish, apple or honey. 4. Ontheplatteritself,betweenthecheeses,blackandwhitegrapesare served, aswell asnutsandslicesof freshfruit -apples,pearsor gs. 5. Di erent types of bread or pastries are implied, fresh or toasted, and cut into squares. SIR I ČOKOLADA, NOVIJA MODA Čokolada i sir su noviji par, ali se već zna da nije svejedno kakva se čokolada servira uz koji sir.  Uz crnu čokoladu / bri, kamamber, rokfort  Uz mlečnu čokoladu / ementaler, rikota, bri  Uz čokoladu s lešnicima / rikota, gauda  Uz belu čokoladu / ementaler CHEESE AND CHOCOLATE, A MORE RECENT FASHION Chocolate and cheese are a newer pairing, but it is already known that the kind of chocolate served alongside which cheese matters.  With dark chocolate / Brie, Camembert, Roquefort  With milk chocolate / Emmental, Ricotta, Brie  With hazelnut chocolate / Ricotta, Gouda  With white chocolate / Emmental Top chefs complement cheese dishes with herbs like basil and parsley, shallots, and spices like nutmeg and pepper Vrhunski šefovi dopunjavaju jela od sira začinima poput bosiljka, peršuna, muskatnog oraha, vlašca i bibera SOPHISTICATED PAIRINGS  Roquefort and sweet gingerbread  Mozzarella and ciabatta  Edam and rye bread  Brie and Camembert with a fresh baguette iStock / olenka222 iStock / Rebell