Top Tips For The Perfect Christmas Cheeseboard

Christmas CheeseIt’s that staple of a Christmas evening, but rarely the most memorable moment of the day. Get your guests talking this year about your scrumptious cheeseboard by following these ten handy tips and end your Christmas dinner in style. Cheese expert Juliet Harbutt has shared her secrets with Belle About Town 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 five 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 and 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.

Emily Cleary

Emily Cleary

After almost a decade chasing ambulances, and celebrities, for Fleet Street’s finest, Emily has taken it down a gear and settled for a (slightly!) slower pace of life in the suburbs. With a love of cheese and fine wine, Emily is more likely to be found chasing her toddlers round Kew Gardens than sipping champagne at a showbiz launch nowadays, or grabbing an hour out of her hectic freelancer’s life to chill out in a spa while hubby holds the babies. If only!

 

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