A plate of cheese and crackers with a glass of wine is a weekly occurrence for some of us. But how to you elevate such a simple dish for your loved ones at such a special time of year?
Firstly, an interesting cheese selection will impress to start. Everyone knows the basic of one hard, one soft and one blue, and this is of course a great basis to start any cheeseboard from.
If you don’t like blue, try a goat or ewe cheese as your third. If you’ve got enough people, add in a goat or a ewe to your three staples. If you don’t like anything blue or ‘goaty’ the Cornish Yarg is great halfway house between hard and soft, and it’s outer layer of nettle leaves adds some colour and a festive touch - in fact I recommend Yarg in any cheese selection.
Otherwise, a jar of Graceburn soft cow’s cheese (like a beautifully soft yet subtle tasting feta) in oil looks like a beautiful pot of gold. It's soft, mellow cheese is like eating a milky cloud, most will love.
Most importantly, try to learn a simple fact about each cheese if you can. A great looking cheeseboard will please most, but sounding like you know what you're talking about will really impress! Example: Yarg is actually Grey backwards! Named after Alan Grey who found the recipe for a nettle-wrapped cheese in his attic!
Hosting a vegan? Pleeeease don't buy the vegan cheese you see in supermarkets. Treat them to the same quality you treat all your guests. Your plant-based guest will be so pleasantly surprised to see something of equal craftsmanship and quality as your cheese if you buy artisan.
Our vegan range from Kinda Co. is outstanding and the cranberry studded 'cheese' is perfect for Christmas. We're so proud to be a stockist and to support Ellie and this small-batch British artisan business.
So you’ve sorted your cheese selection. Now what?
Is your cheeseboard an after dinner evening nibble, or a supplement for an entire meal? If it’s the latter you may want to consider adding some more substance.
This is where some charcuterie adds some texture and flavour. A selection of sliced salami and salami sticks is a quick and easy addition and turns a cheeseboard into a grazing platter. We have an awesome range of salami from Brighton based Curing Rebels, including their Christmas special which is spiced with spruce tips and clementine peel. A great talking point.
We also stock almost the full Cornish Charcuterie range of salami sticks and pate. From traditional pork rilles, seasonal duck liver pate with sage and bacon butter and even a vegan edamame bean pate, our range has something for everyone.
I actually find choosing crackers harder than deciding on cheese. A full flavoured cracker will usually only go well with a more subtle cheese. A plainer cracker will showcase the flavours of a strongly flavoured cheese. So how to choose without buying a box of crackers for each cheese?
The Peter’s Yard sourdough crackers are crisp, snappy and highlight the very best of all accompaniments. Great with hard cheddars, gooey bries, and moussey goats cheeses, these crackers are a fail-safe option for all.
Still want more?
Our selection of Popti crackers are a great nibbler. Their Cornish flavours go particularly well with Cornish Charcuterie pates, or simply with a glass of wine or beer. Temptingly moorish…beware!
So you’ve bought every kind of meat and cheese you think your guests will enjoy, and some crackers to go with it. Done right?
Yes, except also no. Come on, it’s Christmas! When else do you get to indulge in a little luxury, some decorative touches, and some decadence?
Final accompaniments can add great texture, colour and flavour and professional finish to your cheeseboard. We’ve got a great range of Fine Cheese Co chutneys from classic onion (everyone’s favourite!) to seasonal fig and more unusual peach.
What else? A jar of truffle honey adds a real note of luxury. Some insist it’s purely for blues, others say it’s meant for softs. I drizzle over any kind of cheese whatsoever! If you haven’t yet tried it you really, really need to.
We also have the beautiful Fine Cheese Co. dried tomato and pineapple slices. So thinly sliced and so perfectly dried, a real treat. Both will look stunning placed around a cheeseboard and will go well with cheddars and softs. And you can use any leftover tomato slices to professionally decorate a Boxing Day Bloody Mary...now there's a reason to buy! (we also have the amazing Turner Hardy & Co Feisty tomato juice in stock - #justsaying)
Of course, fresh fruits and nuts also look and taste great - figs, grapes, apple slices, walnuts, pistachios - anything with colour. We have some perfectly pickled pears and cherries in stock if you prefer your fruit with a real bit of tang to cut through your cheese.
And that brings us to the end of our cheeseboard guide. By now, you should have a cheeseboard or grazing board to the envy of your family and pals. Now let's just hope we're allowed to invite a few people round to share this with...or maybe you're happy to make the most of having it to yourself! Either way, have a happy and delicious Christmas.