Cheeseboards and Christmas go hand in hand. But not all cheeseboards are made equal! Here’s our how-to guide for building a cheesy centrepiece that’s guaranteed to impress even the grumpiest of Uncles.
1. Don't Be Scared of Blue Cheese
Let's not beat about the bush; many people are quite frankly a bit scared of blue cheese - but that's not a good reason to look elsewhere. A good blue cheese is essential; often the star of the cheeseboard show, the start of a good conversation and the topic of many a dare! Our Blacksticks Blue is absolutely the perfect blue for any cheeseboard. Visually, its bright orange hue is ideal for bringing a bit of brightness, and from a flavour perspective, it is actually really creamy, which provides a striking contrast to the cheesy blue bite. It's a perfectly balanced cheese, that's why it's an award winnner and it has the power to convert many a blue cheese pessimist!
2. Mix It Up
A cheeseboard isn't a cheeseboard without choice. Variety is the spice of life, and luckily we’ve got enough artisan cheese to keep your tastebuds singing throughout the festive period! For the perfect Christmas cheeseboard, we suggest a blue cheese, a soft cheese and a classic hard.
We've already mentioned blue, but when it comes to hard and soft cheeses, be daring enough to try something more than a cheddar and brie - there are so many great cheeses out there! British cheese is easily as good as its continental counterparts, so why not fly the flag with some Best of British! A good Lancashire hard cheese like our Sunday Best is not dissimilar to a traditional cheddar but with a much more open texture and slightly different flavour profile.
Some great British soft cheeses are also available (in fact, UK cheesemakers produce over 200 different kinds of soft cheeses); something like Button Mill is an exquisite choice. Remember also, much like wine, cheese likes to breathe, so get it out of the fridge at least 20 mins before serving.
3. Dress it up
A cheeseboard should look indulgent, colourful and exciting. Therefore once you have your cheeses placed, build up all of your delicious nibbles around it to look like something Julius Cesar might have eaten whilst laying on a day bed. Figs, grapes, nuts and pickles are all great additions and provide lots of varieties for loading up those crackers. Get plenty of colour variation and try to balance what is sitting next to each other. Keep anything wet away from the cheese, or it will absorb the flavour. Check our collection of cheesey accompaniments and sides for more ideas.
4. Cracked it
You can't have a cheeseboard without crackers - it's just not right. Be sure to get a good variety and make sure there enough - no one wants a cracker or biscuit shortage! It's another excellent opportunity to be a bit daring, try something new or something that you haven't seen before - for example, did you know that Blacksticks Blue tastes amazing on a ginger biscuit? We have a couple of great cracker options too from Peter's Yard, either their Original Sourdough crackers or Sourdough Seeded Flatbreads.
5. Chutney Chat
Let's talk chutney; if you don't know where to start, get something with a bit of tang like an onion relish, this will help balance the flavours and is a crowd-pleaser. When it comes to chutney for your cheese, be sure to get a good quality one, like Hawkshead Relish Cheeseboard Chutney that's available to buy on our website, as there really is a big difference in taste!
That's about it; you're good to go. Why not get some classic games out whilst you are all grazing? It's the perfect opportunity to nibble and play - that's what festive get togethers are all about!