A delicious cheese board is perfect for when you’re entertaining friends, planning a picnic or as the traditional French habit of an extra course between dinner and dessert. Read on for tips on how to create the perfect cheese board for all occasions...
1. Less is more! Buy less cheese but bigger pieces - as these tend to keep better than smaller cuts. Generally, you will want to allow between 100g-125g (3½-4oz) cheese per person if your cheese board is being served after a meal, or around 150g (5oz) per person if you’re serving it as nibbles. Three or four cheeses will be perfect – any more and it’s too much for the palate to savour.
2. What combination makes for a great cheese board? There should be 3 or 4 cheeses on offer – more than that and there’s too much for the palate to enjoy. Ensure your choices include different styles, textures and flavours. The classic combination of Cheddar, Stilton and Brie is great as it mixes a hard, soft and a blue. If you want an alternative blue cheese, hard cheese and soft cheese combination, why not be a little more adventurous in your selections, or try some of the great new British artisan cheeses. Swap your Brie for a St Eadburgha or Stinking Bishop. Instead of Cheddar try a Lincolnshire Poacher or Mayfield Swiss. And replace your Stilton with Barkham Blue or Perl Las.
3. And to serve with it? A good biscuit, cracker or artisan bread can complement the cheese, as can chutneys, fruit and celery.
4. And what about to drink? A lighter red wine is a great with most cheeses, as is a heavy white wine - as they both give a good flavour and body without distracting from the flavour profiles of the cheese. You can also try a drink from the same region as the cheese to complement it - such as a cider from the Cheddar region.
5. If by any chance these is cheese left over – how do I store it? Cheese is best stored at the bottom of the fridge, wrapped in waxed paper, so the cheese can breathe. Always allow the cheese to come up to room temperature about 20min before serving for the best flavour.