What should be on a Christmas cheeseboard?
The perfect Christmas cheeseboard should have a selection that will tempt and delight your guests. You can’t please everyone with every cheese, however there should be at least two or three that will appeal to most palates.
The number of cheeses is important, two is too few and eight too many, we think that six is ideal – but a lot depends on the number of people enjoying your cheeses. Consider the sizes too and be generous with the types of cheese most people love, hard cheddar and soft brie for example. If you’re including a quirky choice such as a wensleydale studded with fruit, or a very strong blue, buy smaller pieces of those.
The key to a delicious cheeseboard is a good balance of flavours and textures. Here are our ‘must-haves’ for your buffet table showstopper:
- A mild blue cheese such as Dolcelatte or Danish Blue.
- A hard cheese with a punch of flavour, a farmhouse style cheddar is an excellent option.
- A soft cheese with a rind, brie and camembert are always popular.
- A goat’s milk cheese, this will add sharpness to your board.
Once you have the ‘basics’ in place, you can be a little more daring with your choices. Depending on how receptive you think your guests will be, choose from one or two of these.
- A blue cheese with bite.
- A fruity crumbly cheese, apricots and cranberries are safe options.
- A sheep’s milk cheese such as Manchego.
- A cheese made by a local small business that will be new to most people around the table.
Peter’s Yard and The Cheese Geek: The perfect British cheeseboard
If you really love your cheese and want to impress someone who also loves their cheese, we recommend watching this video from British Cheese Weekender.
It’s a great creation that offers tips and advice on putting the perfect cheeseboard together using British cheeses.
The board also uses sourdough crackers and truffle honey from Peter’s Yard.
If you don’t fancy watching 27 minutes of cheesy delight, then the chapters are worth checking out: What to have with cheese; The vintage poacher; Camembert style cheeses and charcoal crackers.
If you are putting a cheeseboard together for the first time, don’t be put off – this video is aimed at delivering a great British cheese experience.
If you love cheese, you will love this video!
What is the most popular Christmas cheese?
Camembert – for a festive starter that will tickle the taste buds of most, a warm and gooey Camembert served with soft chunks of bread is ideal.
Cheddar – for a cheese that will make stunning sandwiches on Boxing Day afternoon, a flavourful mature cheddar will go beautifully with the homemade chutney you received as a gift.
Stilton – a Christmas classic, this creamy blue cheese is craved from huge blue-grey veined truckles, and it goes exceptionally well with port.
Wensleydale– Yorkshire folk adore a slice of this crumbly white cheese with their Christmas cake. It is also the cheese that is most likely to be studded with fruit such as apricots, cranberries, and vine fruits.
How to decorate a Christmas cheeseboard
A traditional cheeseboard is served on a wooden platter. However, a display of tasty cheese will look ravishing on any serving dish, so choose whichever looks best with the rest of your table decorations.
A beautifully decorated cheeseboard will look fantastic on your Christmas buffet table but consider using edibles as your ornaments. To us, using plastic decorations will look tacky and you risk contaminating the star of the show, the cheese.
Sprigs of rosemary and thyme will add a rustic touch and will smell divine. Seasonal fruits such as cranberries, satsumas, redcurrants and an orange studded with cloves will add colour. Prevent waste by only using foods you will eat after all the cheese has gone.
Christmas.co.uk top tip: Don’t forget the cheese knives are for cutting and butter knives are for spreading. Old-fashioned bone handled knives, rustic wooden knives and polished silverware will all look stunning, depending on the style of your dinner or buffet table.
If you make sure the cheese and accompaniments are arranged neatly on your platter, you won’t need many extra decorations. In fact, if you’re feeling ambitious, you could create a Christmas tree or parcel shape. Kids will love getting involved with part of the meal preparation.
How to create the perfect Christmas cheeseboard
Christmas cheese should special, out of the ordinary and luxurious, after all, tis a season for indulgence. A balance of flavours, from strong to mild and sharp to creamy, is important, there should be something for all tastes.
Don’t forget to include a variety of textures too. A crumbly Cheshire cheese, a hard Lincolnshire Poacher and soft goats’ cheese are great alternatives to Wensleydale, cheddar and Brie.
If you’re serving family and friends, you probably know the cheeses they love and the ones they hate, so add a couple of crowd pleasers, then throw in a chunk of cheese that will get them talking. Cornish Yarg is a semi-hard cheese that crumbles, it is tangy and comes wrapped in nettles, a leaf that is said to aid digestion.
The perfect Christmas cheeseboard will have delicious accompaniments too. Serve your sumptuous platter of mouth-watering cheeses alongside:
- Juicy grapes
- Slices of crisp apple
- Crunchy crackers
- Chunks of warm bread
How much cheese should you buy for a Christmas cheeseboard?
For the average gathering of family and friends, at least six big blocks or wedges of cheese should suffice. Remember, your guests will be eating crackers, biscuits and bread with the cheese, so they will get full up fast. Of course, if you are catering for a large number of people, you’ll need an extra wedge of each of your chosen cheeses.
Does a cheeseboard make a good Christmas gift?
Absolutely! For a cheese lover, a thoughtfully curated cheeseboard is a brilliant Christmas present. Have a sneaky look in their fridge to see which cheeses they buy and start from there. Buy luxurious and unusual versions of their favourites. Introducing them to a cheese you enjoy is a lovely touch.
If your friend loves extra mature cheddar, buy them some that has been made by a local artisan cheesemaker. Making the cheeseboard personal to them is important, don’t just buy a generic cheeseboard from the supermarket.
Make the cheese board or platter a part of the present. Wooden chopping boards, hand-painted plates and printed serving trays will make a great additional gift that will be used long after all the cheese has been devoured.
Waitrose – The essential cheeseboard
Let’s finish with this excellent video from Waitrose – who have an impressive cheese selection – and it’s only 18 seconds long.
This is a crash course in what goes into creating an impressive cheeseboard.
Everything on it is from the Waitrose Essential range so it won’t cost you an arm and a leg!
We love how they quickly create this by placing and slicing the cheese, adding crackers and grapes and having a tasty dip in the middle.
You’ll see there is cheese but also biscuits, olives and tangy green grapes.
We think this board will surely tickle your tastebuds!