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Dream verrines - The Ile de France Cheese Guide to Verrines

A taste sensation in France, verrines have touched down in the U.S. and home parties are attaining a whole new level of style and taste.

If you're looking for a fun, hip dish to serve this holiday season look no further than verrines - a French delicacy that looks as good as it tastes and is simple and fast to make as well.

Many people get their first taste – and sight - of verrines while traveling in France. The colorful, flavorful dish has been gaining in popularity abroad, propelled by chefs whose versions of the dish feature brightly colored layers of ingredients in varying textures, all served on top of each other in small, clear glasses.

Verrines are individual servings of appetizers served to show off each layer of culinary goodness. The name comes simply from the French word for glass – verre – and the straight forward layering method means you don't have to be a master chef to create your own version of the dish.

The simple, structured presentation is tough to beat. Stylish and straight forward, verrines are easy to put together and look as elegant as anything you can serve.

Add to that the fact that some of your guests will be seeing this great dish's presentation for the first time and you have all the makings of a big time party favor that hits a gourmet trifecta of style, flavor and texture. A truly tres bien addition to any gathering to be sure.

"Verrines have become popular because of their simplicity and style, plus the freedom people have when making them" said Karen Perlman, a personal chef who supplies recipes for Ile de France.

Cooks have choices when putting together verrines. Anything that goes well together – cheeses, meats, veggies, fruits, dessert items, ect. – can be layered to create delicious, elegant verrines.

"They are easy to make but look bold and unique, and kids love them too because of the bright colors," Perlman added. Beautiful presentation, delicious textures, colors and styles, what more do you need in a party dish?

You'll need a few tips to get started creating your own. Here are a few of our own:

Use small glasses – Use glasses just big enough for one, smallish serving. This way you'll be able to serve whole trays of the brightly colored appetizers and your guests will be able to enjoy more than just one. Some people like to use shot glasses. Low ball glasses can be filled up halfway as well. Cylinder shaped candle holders can make a great verrine serving vessel as well.

Differenciate layers with colors – It's best to use some ingredients with bold colors. Since cheese is often cream or whitish in color, it provides great contrast to fruits and other types of foods, which makes for a refined look to your verrines.

Now that you've got the basics, here are a few exclusive Ile de France verrine recipes for you to consider.



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