Creating the Perfect Christmas Cheeseboard
Christmas is a time for indulgence, to eat, drink and be merry! Around the festive period we put so much thought into our food, and even start to buy things in advance, particularly drinks and freezer foods. Cheeseboards are always a favourite at Christmas, they’re perfect to snack on between main meals, because let’s be honest, if we’ve not had something to eat in the last half hour, something is wrong! They’re also a great option for Christmas and New Year buffets, but what cheeses should you serve, what is the perfect balance to please your guests?
If the cheeseboard is just for yourself at home, you wouldn’t worry too much as to what’s on it, just something that YOU like. But what about if you’re hosting a party? How are you supposed to know what cheeses other people will want? In this blog we have put together some advice we have found after scouring the web, on good selections of cheeses and how to create the best Christmas cheeseboard ever!
The best way to cater for everyone’s taste is to choose a good selection of styles, textures (soft, hard, semi hard) and flavours (strong to mild), colours and shapes of cheese. Here are a few types that are common to include and they ensure that you have served something that everyone will love:
- A soft brie or camembert
- An hard cheese e.g. cheddar
- A blue cheese
- A goats cheese to counterweight the hard cheeses
Another trick is to know exactly how much to serve. You don’t want to over face your guests and at the same you don’t want to leave them short changed either. It is generally advised that 3-4 oz per guest will be enough, but if the cheese board is a course all on its own you may need some more.
What to serve alongside?
It’s good to know there’s no need to go mad with biscuits. Sweet biscuits go better with a blue cheese, light crackers to accompany a soft cheese, but a nice crusty bread which is fairly neutral in flavours would work well with all types of cheese.
Then there’s the question of chutneys and other accompaniments! Fresh fruit is always a great accompaniment with cheeses, fruits such as grapes, apples and figs. And don’t forget the jams! You can find huge ranges of jams and chutneys in shops that will work great with your cheeses, be adventurous and choose something a little different this year, you may even want to try honey too! Want to add a bit of a Mediterranean feel? Try adding things to your board such as olives, sun dried tomatoes, pickles, oils and preserved meats such as salami and prosciutto, as well as flavoured breads with whole grains. This can be a refreshing change on a typical cheese board and your guests may love the new approach to this, particularly if they’ve already sampled a few cheeseboards this Christmas already!
How to serve?
You want to make your cheeseboard look as pretty as you can, to draw in your guests. Choose a nice wooden board, preferably with a handle for ease of serving, a slate or ceramic tile, cake stand, or even a wooden chopping board can double as a serving plate. Arrange the foods creatively around your board and ensure each cheese has its own knife.
Typically the cheeses should be arranged and eaten from mildest to strongest in a clockwise fashion, making sure the smellier cheeses are away from the milder ones so the scent doesn’t transfer to them.
From everyone here at UK Christmas World we hope that this blog has given you a few tips when planning your cheeseboard this year! Don’t be afraid to try something new too, some of the different cheeses may be a bit stinky but often hold the greatest tastes. Also don’t forget about the many festive cheeses out there that include flavours such as cranberry, which can be a great addition to your board!