It is just not Christmas without a festive cheese board, packed full of the most delicious artisan cheeses.
When it comes to ordering Christmas cheese, there are no rules as to how you should put together your cheeseboard. However, there is some of advice we can provide you to ensure your cheese remains in perfect condition throughout the festive period.
Please note that all our cheeses are handmade using traditional artisan techniques which means each cheese will vary with each day’s make and will change as they mature. You may find different levels of moulds, different textures and different flavours from cheese to cheese, this is one of the joys of eating proper artisan cheese.
When buying artisan cheese it is important to take a common sense approach to its care by responding to the cheese you have in front of you, as opposed to following rigid guidelines. You will find that your cheese may change due to the temperature and humidity of your fridge speeding up or slowing down the maturation process.
Our cheeses are a living, breathing expression of their terroir and care needs to be adapted to your surroundings. All our cheese will come with a best before date which will guarantee a minimum date, however we encourage you to use common sense and not to waste any cheese that will still be delicious even after this date. Remember to look, sniff and scrape your cheese, if required.
Christmas Cheese Frequently Asked Questions
How much cheese should I order?
For a cheese board we recommend roughly between 100-150g of cheese per person. With Christmas being a time of indulgence, we encourage you to order enough to last you through the festive period. Any leftover cheese can be used to cook with over the festive period, or can be frozen.
When should I choose delivery?
At Christmas our last delivery will be a few days earlier than Christmas Day and keeping the cheese in the refrigerator as recommended will slow down maturation and help prevent premature spoilage.
Your cheese will arrive to you in peak condition. If you store it properly and care for it well, it will remain in this state for about 10 days, depending on the cheese you have chosen, long enough to see you through the festive period. Harder cheeses like Lincolnshire Poacher, Cheddars and Appleby's, for example, will last the longest, while softer cheeses like Baron Bigod, Bix and St Jude are best consumed sooner.
Cheese is a preserved product, it will remain edible and delicious for some time after the use by and best before dates but will likely change in texture and taste due to maturation. Many of our cheeses will be improved by a little extra maturity.
We recommend you order your Christmas cheese for delivery as early as 19th December and as late as 22nd December.
We will be delivering between Christmas and New Year if you need a top up.
Can I freeze my cheese?
Yes, you can freeze your cheese. This tends to work better for crumbly and soft cheeses, such as Cropwell Bishop Stilton, Baron Bigod and Tunworth. You may want to use freezing as a way to reduce your waste i.e freezing rinds or ends of cheeses and use these for cooking with and enjoy 'fresh' cheese on your cheeseboard.
How should I store my cheese?
With individual cheeses you can expect a natural shelf life as indicated by the use by or best before date on the packaging. With hard cheeses (including blues like Stilton), if carefully wrapped and stored as suggested cheese will keep for a minimum of a week or more from the date of delivery.
The best place to store your cheese is in the salad draw of your fridge (removing any veg from the same compartment). It is slightly more humid than other areas of your fridge. If you have selected a particularly smelly cheese, you may want to pop this in a tupperware container.
My cheese has developed mould, is it still ok to eat?
Cheese loves mould and given the chance, all cheeses will develop a mould.
Some of our cheeses will be delivered already with a mould which is all part of their amazing flavour, do not be alarmed by any blue spots, veins, or furry blooms, these are all important flavour enhancers to the cheese.
Some of our soft cheeses such as St Jude have a thin wrinkly coat, which is intentionally made this way, you may see blue, grey or green spots on these soft cheeses which are all perfectly safe and part of the experience of this cheese.
We only sell 'clothbound cheddars' which come with an amazing mould covered rind. You may also see the odd blue vein in some of our cheddars, all of this is part of the amazing experience of these cheese. With our cheddars we do suggest that you eat right up to the rind but do not eat the rind itself, unless you particularly enjoy the earthy funky flavour.
If your cheese starts to develop a new mould while in the fridge, it is still totally safe to eat, just use a knife to scrape off any mould or any damaged layers of the cheese. What is underneath is perfectly safe to eat and will taste great.
How long before serving should I take the cheese out of the fridge?
Cheese should be kept in the cold, but it certainly shouldn't be eaten that way. Serving cheese fridge cold inhibits some of the flavours of the cheese and can suppress the texture also. To allow your cheese to be enjoyed at its best remove it from the fridge one or two hours before serving.