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|For those who don’t have a sweet tooth, a cheese board is the perfect alternative end to your meal. Our Chef Darren shares his top tricks and tips for creating the perfect cheese board for your guests.|
Christmas is a time for celebrating and sharing food with friends and family and what better sharing experience is there than a cheese board. However, there seems to be lots of mystery and questions about what a cheese board should be; which cheeses to use, what to serve them with, what order to eat them in, and even down to which of those funny shaped knives to use for each cheese.
For me most of this is not that important, I believe a cheese board should be a fun sharing experience and there is no list of commandments that need to be followed but there are a few tips we have which will help ensure your cheese board is a success!Which cheeses
I like to stick to 3 or 4 cheeses. This will give enough variety without overwhelming people. I would normally follow the formula of one soft cheese, one or two hard cheeses and a blue cheese. This allows a good enough range of textures and flavours to please even the biggest cheese lover. An example would be Brie, Cheddar and Stilton but if you were more adventurous you could swap out the Brie for a Reblochon, Cheddar for an Ossau-Iraty and Stilton for Roquefort. As long as you stick to the basic formula the cheeses can be changed to suit.Accompaniments
Again, I would suggest giving variety but not overdoing things. I usually choose 2-3 different types of biscuit with different textures but the most important thing is to avoid heavily flavoured biscuits so not to over power the flavour of the cheese
Chutneys are a great way to enhance cheeses. I try to have 2-3 chutneys with my cheese board. I usually have a sweet one and a spicy one and find that these pair well with most cheeses.
Dried fruit and nuts also work well adding texture to the board.Top tips
- Take cheese out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving, this allows the cheese to come up to room temperature which allows more flavour of the cheese to come out
- When cutting cheese you should cut from the centre out so that each person gets a cross section of the wheel. The centre is always the ripest so it’s nice to share.
- Use a different knife for each cheese to avoid getting the cheeses mixed. You don’t have to use the funny rounded knife for the Roquefort!
- There really isn’t an order in which you should eat them. You can start with the lightest and work up to the strongest but more importantly it’s about enjoying it and eating what you like.
Cheese is supposed to be a fun sharing experience so don’t worry about the ‘rules’, just enjoy it!
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