Whether local or imported, a good cheeseboard needs care and attention to get it right. Here are our tips for cheesey success:
ASK! We are here to help you create that perfect platter. Cheese language can be scary, bizarre and just weird in some cases, so ask questions to get good answers on exactly what is ripe and tastes best, when and with what.
Keep it simple
We feel it is best to avoid heavily flavoured cheeses when creating a cheeseboard. Fine if you really love that BBQ-flavoured Gouda, but will everyone? Keep it simple and let the beauty of the cheese speak – not the additives.
The magic formula of one brie, one hard and one blue isn’t necessarily the perfect combo. That will depend on what each of those cheeses tastes like. In some cases, two beautiful and really complex cheeses are better than five really boring ones. You may also overwhelm your palate with too many varieties, so it’s better to just have two and keep it simple.
Best out all day?
Noooo! Cheese, especially in warmer months, can over-ripen and be a disgusting dripping mess to deal with after being out of the fridge all day. Hard cheese can live outside of the fridge very happily but soft creamy varieties need less time out, so give them just
15-20 minutes to loosen up those aromas, not all day.
All that hard work put into making a cheese means it should be given respect when served. Make sure you have a knife for each cheese unless you are willing to pre-cut each portion of cheese in advance. No one wants big gutsy blue on their delightful fresh curd
Jams, patés, fruit pastes, etc are all good, but don’t go crazy and top a cheese with a flavour. It will not only override those wonderful flavours but think of the broader picture – not everyone is a fan of marmalade on their brie like you are.
Mix it up
Mixed and different milks can be a really great way to introduce new flavours to your friends and family. Don’t be shy of goat’s and sheep’s milk products – some are great starter cheeses in these milks so – again – just ask, taste and be adventurous
Bread or crackers?
There are no hard and fast rules for serving. With so much gluten intolerance now, gluten-free rice crackers appear more and more on cheeseboards but are often just not robust (or even interesting) enough to carry the full weight of a luxurious and wonderfully produced cheese. Simple slices of apple and pear are great substitutes for crackers and, in many cases, bread; a good classic baguette is simply gorgeous with cheeses.