This section is from the book "Mrs. Allen's Cook Book", by Mrs. Ida C. Bailey Allen. See also: The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.
Cheese may appear in many ways, but should not be repeated in the same menu. For example, if cheese balls, or cheese crackers, are served with the salad, cheese should not be served again at the end of the meal. A well-planned menu never repeats flavors. Occasionally a cheese souffle opens or closes a meal as a hot savory hors d'oeuvre. But this should not be done unless the balance of the meal is comparatively light. Cheese is often also served as a salad accompaniment, but most often it appears at the close of the meal.
As cheeses are so different in character, care should be taken to choose a suitable type.
Plain cheese is usually cut in cubes and served on a doily-covered plate, and may be accompanied with crackers; saltines are particularly acceptable. A fork is used for the service. The tops of Edam, or pineapple, cheese are sawed or cut off to form lids, a silver knob being inserted for a handle, if convenient. To protect the fingers, the cheese should be wrapped in a folded paper napkin, and may be placed on a fancy plate, surrounded with crisp crackers and garnished with parsley. The cheese should be loosened before passing. A cheese scoop is always used to remove it. Roquefort and Camembert are usually cut in pie-shaped pieces and the whole cheese (small) may be cut to set in the standard of a cheese dish, the plate below holding the crackers. A broad cheese -knife is used for the service. Sweet Swiss cheese may be sliced and served on a doily-covered plate, although it is most appropriately served on grape leaves; the accompaniment should be rye crackers.
Cream, or Neufchatel, cheese is placed either whole or sliced on a handled cheese plate with a broad cheese knife for the service. If the cheese course ends the meal, which is often concluded Continental fashion, with the salad, a jar of Bar le Duc jelly, or strawberry preserve, is often passed with it. In case a more elaborate service is desired, the high standard of the cheese dish may be filled with stuffed prunes and cheese balls covered with whipped cream may be disposed about the base; unsweetened crackers should be passed.