Let me start by saying I have not been paid to write this post. It's just, it's about cheese and I don't think I've ever made a secret of how much I love cheese. You can never have too much cheese in my book, I've never met one I didn't like. When Port Salut asked me to share these tips, I found myself in the position of not wanting to refuse as Port Salut may be my favourite cheese. (I say that about all my cheeses but I do love Port Salut a lot!).
Port Salut teamed up with cheese expert Juliet Harbutt to give us everything we need to create the perfect cheeseboard. With over 25 years in the business, Juliet founded Jeroboams - London's finest wine and cheese shop and also went on to create The British Cheese Awards in 1994. Toady she writes for the Guild of Food Writers and was awarded Best Food Book in 2010 for her World Cheese Book.
Without further ado, here are Juliet's tips for the perfect cheeseboard.
Ten Tips for the Christmas Cheeseboard
End your Christmas dinner in style this festive season and earn yourself a reputation for creating a truly memorable cheeseboard with the help of Port Salut and cheese expert Juliet Harbutt. Here are her top ten tips for pulling together a show-stopping centre piece this Christmas:
- A slate or marble cheeseboard is great for creating a lasting impression
- Avoid dressing with grapes and instead decorate your cheeseboard with a few autumnal leaves or sprigs of holly for a festive feel
- Ideally a cheeseboard should have 5 – 10 magnificent cheeses, preferably at least one from each of the seven categories and at least one goat or ewe • Offer a range of shapes – logs, wedges, cylinders, squares – and cut blocks of cheese into different shapes for an attractive finish
- Order your Stilton weeks in advance, as you would a turkey and ideally buy cheeses you have tasted and had cut at the deli from the original cheese. Buy your soft pre-packed cheeses as near to their best before date as possible for the best taste
- Before serving ensure all the cheeses have come to room temperature – a slither will take 5 minutes and whole Brie will take at least an hour so best to
serve similar sized portions
- Avoid very brittle or strong flavoured biscuits as they can overpower the cheese; instead serve with oat cakes or rustic breads that allow you to experience the full texture and tastes of the cheese
- The accompaniments should complement not over power your cheeses, so try pickled walnuts, savoury (not over sweet) or spicy chutney, nuts, dried
fruit or fresh apples or pears
- As well as wine, beer & cider also go very well with most types of cheese so encourage guests to have fun experimenting with their pairings
- Ideally store your cheese in a larder otherwise keep them refrigerated in a sealed plastic box, wrapped in their original wrapping or greaseproof paper
Visit the Port Salut website at www.portsalut.co.uk for Juliet’s downloadable cheese guide, listing all her cheese recommendations for the perfect Christmas board.