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.
A rich, intense raw milk cheese with a smooth, creamy texture. Similar to a hard mountain cheese crossed with a clothbound cheddar. Handcrafted using heritage starters by expert cheesemakers, this exquisite cheese is naturally matured, typically for 14 to 16 months.
Cropwell Bishop Stilton
Gorgeously rich and tangy with a distinctly unique, strong flavour, Cropwell Bishop's Blue Stilton has a melt in the mouthfeel and velvety soft texture. Buttery and complex, this cheese has a spicy long finish and is sure to be the star of any evening.
Cornish Yarg is a nettle wrapped semi hard cheese made from grass rich Cornish milk. Tangy under its natural rind and slightly crumbly in the core, it consistently wins top international awards. A delicate, yoghurty cheese, wrapped in nettle leaves, Cornish Yarg has a wonderfully fluffy textured centre with delicious lactic flavours and a buttery, creamy breakdown under the slightly earthy edible rind.
This is a truly exceptional cheese; made with milk from Jonny and Dulce's herd of Montbeliarde cows. It is the only traditional milk Brie-de-Meaux style cheese produced in the UK. Baron Bigod has a silky texture and a golden curd, with long-lasting complex flavours of farmyard, morels and warm earth. Awarded Gold at the British Cheese Awards.
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.