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The Last Course Sampler: Italian Cheeses, Sliced Fennel and Citrus Rings with Brandy


  • 1/3 pound Pecorino Romano cheese or any sheep's milk cheese

  • 1/3 pound Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

  • 1/3 pound Gorgonzola cheese

  • 1 ripe red skinned pear, sliced

  • 1/2 pound red grapes

  • 1 bulb fresh fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced

  • 2-3 navel oranges, skins cleaned and dried

  • 1 Sicilian blood orange, skin cleaned and dried (optional)

  • 2-3 jiggers brandy


Arrange the three cheeses on a large board or platter. The Pecorino Romano may be sliced. The Parmigiano Reggiano needs a small sharp cheese knife to crumble it. The Gorgonzola will need a spreader. Slice pear and set it along side the Gorgonzola for spreading. Arrange the grapes in small clusters around the cheeses. Arrange the fennel slices near the Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano cheeses. Slice whole oranges into disks and arrange them on a shallow dish. Douse the orange slices with brandy and serve with cheese course. Use 1 jigger of brandy for each sliced orange. To eat the oranges, rip the skin and "unroll" each slice. Easy. Delicious.