Cheese and Crackers for Savoury Snackers
Cheese and crackers is one of those rare things that completely belies its simplicity. The moreish combination of crispy, salty and savoury is the stuff that food dreams are made of.
It can be snack, lunch, dessert, post-dessert or canape. Entire gatherings are orchestrated as an excuse to indulge in wine, cheese and crackers.
An early incarnation of the cracker was hardtack, the ship’s biscuit of swashbuckling tales of pirates at sea. A hard baked mix of flour and water, plus salt if you were lucky, hard tack was cheap to make and virtually impossible to destroy. It provided sustenance on long arduous journeys.
By the late 1800s bakers were making thinner lighter versions known as crackers and, alongside cheese, they became a staple menu item. Eventually, the bakers got creative with different flours, seeds, spices and the like.
But there was also flatbread. Around since man learned to grind grains. Also a flat dough made from flour, water, and salt it is made with or without yeast.
What is lavosh flatbread?
Lavosh flatbread, also spelled lavash, is a wafer thin bread from Armenia, Iran and surrounding countries. Traditionally baked on a clay oven, it is so ingrained in the culture of these communities that it has achieved UNESCO status. Soft and flexible when fresh, lavosh dries out quickly to become hard and brittle. It is stored as stacks of dried flatbreads which are crumbled into soup or rehydrated with a sprinkling of water.
Of course this thin dried bread makes the ideal cracker.
Lavosh crackers are crisp and delicate. The ideal vehicle for just about anything. Ideal for cheese platters or to serve with dips, they are both blank canvas and deep savoury flavour.
Our yeast-free flatbread crackers come in two varieties –
Toppings for savoury biscuits
Savoury biscuits are incredibly versatile. You can serve them with soup or crumble them into croutons. Although they are great served alongside dips such as hummus or baba ganoush, they also make excellent snacks or canapes.
Pile high with your favourite toppings. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
- Mozzarella, tomato and pesto
- Salami, parmesan and olives
- Cream cheese, cucumber, fresh dill and black pepper
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Pate and apricot jam
- Guacamole and tomato salsa
- Cream cheese, smoked salmon and rocket
- Feta cheese, honey and oregano (our personal favourite)
And then of course, there’s cheese and biscuits…
Cheese and biscuits
A cheese platter, whether a mini version for a solo TV binge or a full on party ensemble, is one of the true joys of life.
Keep it simple with a slice of cheddar and an apple, or go all out with different cheeses, fruits, chutneys, and wine. Don’t forget the wine.
How to set up a cheese and cracker platter
It might seem simple enough, but a little attention to detail never hurt anyone. Aim for a balance of different shapes, colours and textures. You don’t to get too complicated.
Serve a variety of cheeses, at room temperature. Aim for 3 to 5 cheeses, and serve anywhere between 50 – 150g per person. Choose a mix of soft and hard cheeses, with a range of milk types (cow, goat, sheep).
You could for example pick –
- a blue cheese, such as Roquefort,
- one hard cheese, such as mature Cheddar, Parmesan or Manchego
- a white rind cheese, such as Brie or Camembert
- one Swiss type cheese, such as Gouda or Emmental
- a different cheese, that has an unusual colour or additions such as herbs, spices, or dried fruits.
Maybe add a little charcuterie in the form of Parma ham or salami.
Definitely add fruit to add colour, acidity and sweetness. Fruit also serves to cleanse the palate, what with all the salty, dry, crispy, savoury elements going on. Anything goes, although some things go better than others. Personally we wouldn’t really want strawberries with our smoked cheese or oranges with our Red Leicester. Stick to apple, pear, grapes, or ripe figs. Maybe a few blueberries.
How about some nuts? Raw, not salty. Hazelnuts, walnuts, and almonds are all good. Either in the shells with a nutcracker or just scattered about to graze upon lazily.
What else can you find at the deli? Olives, mi-cuit tomatoes, marinated artichokes, or cornichons perhaps? Pickled onions for the die hard traditionalists.
A few chutneys wouldn’t go amiss. Maybe just one.
Take a look at what you’ve got and see if you can balance the colours and make it pop. A sprig or rosemary or thyme; lavender even. Wedges of jewel red radicchio.
What more could you want.