A delicious cheeseboard is perfect for when you’re entertaining friends, planning a picnic or looking forward to a light and tasty supper. It’s a great opportunity to explore the wonderful variety of British and Continental artisan cheeses now available at Paxton & Whitfield. Here are our top tips on how to create the perfect cheeseboard for all occasions.
Team your flavours
The cheese course should be a continuation of the flavours enjoyed in your main course. So, if you are serving strongly flavoured dishes in the main course, opt for stronger flavoured cheeses for your cheeseboard. Equally, if you’re serving a more subtle main course, opt for a lighter flavoured selection of cheese.
Styles and textures
It’s a good idea to create a cheeseboard that offers different styles, textures and flavours for your guests to enjoy. That’s why Cheddar, Stilton and Brie is such a classic combination as it includes a blue, a hard cheese and a soft cheese, giving a variety of textures and flavours.
If you want an alternative blue cheese, hard cheese and soft cheese combination, why not be a little more adventurous in your selections? Why not try some of the great new British artisan cheeses? Swap your Brie for a Stinking Bishop. Instead of Cheddar try a Lincolnshire Poacher or Mayfield Swiss. And replace your Stilton with Barkham Blue or Perl Las.
Get the quantity right
For your Christmas cheeseboard served after the main meal, we would recommend allowing each person about 80g of cheese. So for six people around 750g of cheese in total is a good amount.
If you are creating a Christmas cheeseboard to be served as a supper, opt for slightly more cheese per person, around 150g – 200g.
Three or four cheeses will be perfect – any more and it’s too much for the palate to savour.
Crackers and accompaniments
It’s important to choose the right crackers and accompaniments for your cheeseboard. A good biscuit, like those in our Biscuits for Cheese Selection, helps to complement the cheeses, as do chutneys, fruit confits and dried fruits. Take a look at our wonderful range of chutneys and preserves here. Don’t be tempted to overload the cheeseboard – less is definitely more. Perhaps keep your accompaniments to one choice of biscuit and chutney.
Drinks to complement cheese
There are lots of options when it comes to choosing drinks which complement your cheeseboard. However, it can help to narrow down your options if you consider both the provenance of your food and the flavours of your preceding dishes.
- Provenance – think about where your cheese has been made. For example, if you’ve chosen a Cheddar, you might like to accompany it with a good cider. If you’ve chosen French cheeses for your cheeseboard, look at where they were made and select a wine from the same area.
- Match flavours – you can enjoy a sweet wine with a blue cheese (for example, Sauternes with Roquefort), though a light red wine or a heavier white wine go well with most cheeseboards. If in doubt, try a good white Burgundy – it has a good flavour/body that won’t dominate your palate.
For more detail, take a look at our detailed article on choosing complementary cheese and wine.
Store your cheese properly
You’ll want to ensure your cheese is in optimum condition when you’re ready to serve. When you get it home, store your cheeses in a cool, dry place or at the bottom of the fridge, ideally wrapped in waxed paper as this allows the cheese to breathe.
Take the cheese out of the fridge an hour or so before you’re due to serve it to allow it to come up to room temperature. This will help improve its flavours for your meal.
Buy cheese from Paxton & Whitfield
If you need help or further information, simply pop into your nearest Paxton & Whitfield store. If you’re not nearby, don’t worry, simply get in touch with one of our stores and speak to an expert cheesemonger who will be happy to help you select a fabulous selection of our most delicious cheeses. You can then place your order online and we’ll deliver direct to your home.