Three Golden Rules For A Great British Cheeseboard.
Want to create a great British cheeseboard, but don’t know where to start? These three golden rules will help. Just remember: Variety. Presentation. Pairing. And you won’t go wrong.
British Cheeseboards are a low maintenance way to make a high impact with your guests. Low impact because there’s zero cooking involved. And high impact because the choice of world-class home-grown cheese is seriously impressive. We now export more cheese than any other food product – the industry’s worth about £400 million – and our cheeses regularly win national and international awards. A few years ago, you’d be hard pushed to find a fancy cheeseboard without Comte and Epoisses. Not anymore. It’s all about local and great British cheeseboards are all the rage.
So whether you are looking for a showstopper board for early evening drinkies or a course at the end of the meal the three golden rules apply.
Variety For A Great British Cheeseboard.
You will need at least three different cheeses and ideally 5 if it’s a board for early evening drinks. As a starting point go for one hard cheese such an aged cheddar. One soft cheese such as an English Brie. And one funky – such as an English blue cheese. The choice can be overwhelming so scroll down for some suggestions at the end of the blog.
Presentation For A Great British Cheeseboard.
First things first, when you buy your cheese keep it in greaseproof paper. It wicks excess moisture away from the cheese while still allowing it to breathe. That keeps your cheese fresh longer and stops it getting sweaty and plasticky which happens when you clingfilm it.
Let your cheese get to room temperature before serving. This will help the flavours shine through. It’s the difference between a dull board and a great British cheeseboard.
Place cheese on a wooden board, a slate tile or a dark colour plate. Cheese is quite pale so if you put it on a pale plate the dish will look insipid as soon as a few pieces are eaten.
Lean into the season. Adorn the board with festive markers such as sprigs of rosemary to look like Christmas trees or edible flowers for spring.
Wine Pairing For A Great British Cheeseboard
There is a scientific reason behind why cheese and wine are such a winning culinary combination. Cheese is creamy and fatty by nature. It also contains certain proteins that coat and lubricate the palate of your mouth when ingested. A lot of English white wines have good acidity. This astringent property helps cut through the creaminess of the cheese. And English Sparkling wines have effervescence and crisp acidity and pair brilliantly with salty cheese.
Serving your great English cheeseboard with English wine will create beautiful balance.
As a rule young, delicate cheeses go best with light, crisp wines. Think pale Provence style English rosé, crisp Chablis style English Chardonnay or English Pinot Gris. A herby goats or cows cheese is a perfect match for Bacchus.
The older and riper the cheese the bigger the wine. In England we don’t have the climate for those bold, robust, tannic Bordeaux, Italian or Australian wines. However, most English Pinot Noir will pair well with a riper Brie, such as Baron Bigod. English white wines from Essex vineyards also tend to be a little fuller than others and pair well with more strongly flavoured cheeses.
If you’re not sure or you have a wide range of cheese the safest bet is an English Sparkling Wine. Read our blog on local cheese and English Sparkling Wine pairings for some stellar combinations.
Browse from a selection of over 130 English wines available to buy on Marasby Market direct from the producers at vineyard prices.
As promised earlier, here are some cheese recommendations. They are in order of mild to strong.
English Hard Cheese
18 month plus aged cheddar
Red Fox Red Leicester
English Soft Cheese
Ticklemore Goat Cheese
Baron Bigod Brie
English Blue Cheese
Follow these three golden rules and create the perfect British cheeseboard. Great for any occasion, easy to make and super impressive. Just don’t forget the wine. Find your perfect pairing on Marasby Market.