Earlier this week, I received an email from Dukeshill. Amongst the delights on offer was their Christmas cheese platter (a mere £81, if you’re that way inclined).
The email got me thinking
I love Christmas, and I love cheese. The two really should go hand-in-hand. After all, a well rounded platter of delicious, rich cheeses; garnished with intense, sweet chutneys and festive nuts, alongside some biscuits could almost sum up the season.
But, despite always buying cheese for Christmas, I rarely appreciate it – really appreciate it.
I’ve realised this is because it’s never given centre-stage; the spotlight it deserves.
Cheese shouldn’t bookend a huge meal, nor should it jostle for prominence on an overcrowded buffet table next to pipes of Pringles, sweaty sausage rolls and triangles of turkey sandwiches (kept moist only thanks to smears of cranberry).
Cheese is a buffet. Cheese is the meal. Cheese fills the table.
So for a truly memorable cheese board this Christmas, abandon the prefix of the meal and push the buffet to the side for another day.
And go the full hog. Dig out the nuts, find your classic chutney and your preferred pickle. Bring out the bread, bask in the biscuits and then bathe them in butter. It’s Christmas, after all!
What does a good Christmas cheese board look like? Well, for the record, I’d recommend:
- A stonking blue (I’ve always loved Mrs Bell’s blue)
- A vintage, crumbling cheddar
- A creamy soft cheese (I’d recommend Eden Valley Brie or Delice de Bourgogne)
- A hard, sharp cheese (I like Manchego or even Parmesan, but if you want British then why not a Cornish Yarg?)
I think that four is plenty, but can you have too much cheese? There are at least half a dozen other Cumbrian and North West cheeses I could add to the list above.
Worried that you need more than cheese on your cracker? Go on then, chuck some charcuterie on there, too.
Accompany those with the things I’ve mentioned and you’ve got a good night. Add some port or red wine and you’ve got a brilliant one.