Creating the perfect cheeseboard
Cheeseboards are great to bring out anytime of the year but most popular during the festivities during Christmas, but how do you prepare the perfect cheeseboard?
How much cheese? – Allow about 100g-125g (3½-4oz) cheese per person if your cheeseboard is being served after a meal, or slightly more – 150g (5oz) per person if you’re serving it as a snack/light meal.
Which cheese? – Three or four cheeses is enough – more than that and there’s too much for the palate to enjoy. The cheeses should be different styles, textures and flavours. Cheddar, Stilton and Brie is a classic combination, as it mixes a hard, soft and a blue. Why not go totally British with a traditional West Country Farmhouse Cheddar matched with Cropwell Bishop, a wonderful robust blue, and maybe Bath Soft Cheese, which is gorgeously gooey and mushroomy in flavour. It’s nice to put one wild-card cheese on the board like a citrussy goat’s cheese or meaty smoked cheese like St James.
Crackers – A good oat biscuit, cracker or artisan bread will complement the cheese. Add a chutney – look for unusual brands at farmers’ markets, and some apples or grapes.
Drinks – After a meal a sweet fortified white wine is always good. You could even try a whiskey, or a gin and tonic. If the board is going to serve as a light meal, then beer or cider is a good choice.
A note on storage – Store in a cold room or the bottom of the fridge, wrapped in waxed paper if possible This allows the cheese to breathe. Let the cheese to come up to room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving for maximum flavour.
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