Assembling the perfect cheeseboard

editorial image

There are no hard and fast rules as to how you should present a cheeseboard.

But there is some expert guidance at hand from The Bawtry Cheese Cave team, whose words of wisdom below are featured as one of the recipes in the Sheffield Cookbook: Second Helpings.

“An odd number of cheeses looks best on a cheeseboard. We have gone for five here.

Try to go for different shaped cheeses (a traditional wedge, a log, a disc) to make it look visually appealing.

Think about the season. We don’t often think about cheese as being seasonal like fruit and vegetables, but it most definitely is.

Generally, milk is at its best in the summer months, so cheese made with this milk is top-notch.

So in the autumn, for example, choose young cheese such as a soft creamy blue and the old boys that were made with summer milk 18 months ago.

Some cheese is only available at certain times of the year.

We sing from the rooftops when Vacherin Mont D’Or becomes available in early October. If you have a variety of cheese on your board, there will surely be something to please everybody.

Think hard, soft, blue, goat’s, territorial…

Once you have chosen your cheese, it is time to present it. Choose an attractive or quirky serving board and arrange your cheese on it. Fill your board with interesting additions.

Fruit such as grapes, figs, apricots, cranberries, blueberries and dried dates all work well, as do apples and pears (although consider the time it will be out and possible discolouration of fruits).

Nuts, herbs, crackers and chutneys can be joined by pickled onions and olives if you wish. A bursting board will give your guests something new to discover.

Choose your weapons. You could go crazy with the different types of cheese knives available, but if you have something sharp you’re onto a winner. Pronged knives are good for serving but not essential.

Now, a plea! Please don’t eat your cheese straight from the fridge. Allow it to get to room temperature for at least an hour and a half before serving.

Lastly, although there are many ‘rules’ about what to drink with cheese, it is totally personal. However if you are having a cheeseboard with a range of tastes, a white will probably complement best. One more thing...Enjoy!

ON THE BOARD

Quicke’s Vintage (tangy two-year- matured cheddar)

Kirkham’s Lancashire (deliciously creamy territorial)

Stichelton (made at the Welbeck estate just outside Worksop, this raw milk blue gives any Stilton a run for its money)

Tunworth (Camembert-style soft cheese with a sweet nutty flavour)

Ragstone (mellow unpasteurised goat’s cheese from Hereford)