For our festive grazing board we have seleted indulgent cheeses that pair perfectly with sweet things, to create the ultimate festive feast.
This dainty little cheese is fresh and lemony with a zippy mousse-like texture when young, but packs more punch as it matures, developing earthy flavours and a gooey interior. Dependent on the batch, St Jude can be fresh, bright and citrusy or rich, smooth and buttery but always with a delicate nutty flavour that is so unique to it.
Kirkham's Lancashire Cheese
Creamy and crumbly, this raw milk farmhouse Lancashire cheese is one of the very finest artisan cheeses made in the British isles. In 1939 there were 202 farmhouse producers of Lancashire. Today, only the Kirkham's remains, this cheese is a slice of British history. Kirkham's Lancashire is light, bright with a yoghurt-like tang. It works wonderfully paired with a fruity chutney and works really well eaten alongside mincepies.
Cote Hill Blue
Creamy and buttery, distinctive blue veins run throughout this silky, smooth cheese which is similar in texture to a French Brie. Rich and flavourful, notes of pepper linger on the tongue, adding a sharpness to this soft cheese.
A truly unique cheese in both shape and taste, Driftwood is enveloped in an ash- coated rind, encasing a lemony, salty goat's cheese inside, with lasting notes of pepper. A light and airy texture that is almost mousse-like, the flavours begin as light and delicate, before evolving into a more full-bodied flavour as the cheese develop.
Truffled Baron Bigod
A gorgeous white truffle, rich and creamy mascarpone runs through the centre of the cheese, infuses it with silky smooth texture and earthy mushroom flavour.
Preparing the Cheese
Cheese should be kept in the cold, but it certainly shouldn't be eaten that way. Serving cheese fridge cold inhibts some of the falvours of the cheese and can supress the texture also. To allow your cheese to be enjoyed at its best remove it from the fridge one or two hours before serving. It is easier to cut the cheese when it is fridge cold, this helps you create clean slices with less crumble or collapse.
Most cheese vary in flavour from nose to rind, exploring the differnece in flavour is part if the pleasure of enjoying a cheese board. To make sure your guest enjoy the full exprerience you'll need to cut your cheese in slices allowing them to taste both the centre of the cheese all the way through to the rind.
Any spare cheese can be wrapped in greeseproof paper or beeswax wraps and stored back in the fridge for another day.
Styling the Festive Grazing Board
Firtsly choose your cheese board base. Take a large round wooden board, plate or tray and place on the table where you intend to serve your cheese board, it's far easier to build it in place than try and move it once you have filled it with cheese.
Start with the largest ingredients first, so place the wedges of cheese and the mince pies in neat piles around the board.
In a small ramakin, dollop in a good helping of chutney and place the bowl in one of the larger gaps between the cheeses.
Now, add in your biscuits, scattering them between the cheese.
Once your biggest and most important items have been placed on the board, you can now fill the gaps in decorative fashion with fresh fruit and nuts.
When you have completed your festive cheese board, place a damp tea towl over it to keep a little moisture in the cheese before serving.
Don't forget to place any cheese cutlery you may need in reaching distance of the board.