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How to make the best Cheeseboard this Christmas

Christmas simply isn’t complete without at least one epic cheeseboard.  From gooey brie to the tang of a blue it’s the range of flavours and textures that makes the difference.  When partnered with a great range of chutneys, pickles, breads and crackers, and a selection of charcuterie and pâté, it is the perfect way to feed your guests or family. 

We are incredibly lucky to have an amazing range of cheeses produced in Cornwall. The temperate climate and long growing season mean we produce rich milk which is perfect for cheese production. Cornish cheeses regularly win prestigious awards and are highly regarded both within the UK and globally. I have set out a selection which will provide the texture and flavour variety which goes to make a truly fantastic cheeseboard.

For your cheese selection you want a mix of both hard and soft cheese so you have a range of textures. As a minimum you’ll want 3 – a brie, a blue and a semi-hard such as Miss Muffet or Gouda but having 4 or 5 will give you more scope for variety. 

All the following cheeses feature in our luxury hampers.  There is a hamper to suit every occasion with our simple Deli & Cheese Hamper from £35 to our Luxury Charcuterie & Deli Hamper from £95.  They make a fantastic gift over the festive season, perfect for nibbling beside the fire with a glass of port or good bottle of red.  All of these cheeses are also available to order individually or as a selection from our sister site The Cornish Food Box Company.

Cornish Blue

This is the blue cheese for those that find stilton too much. Designed to be eaten as a young cheese, Cornish Blue is a very different product from traditional English blue cheeses. Its flavour is mild and creamy, with a dense texture and buttery richness, instead of the ‘salty tang’ common of other traditional blue cheeses it has a gentle sweetness.

Cornish Blue is a vegetarian, pasteurised, cow's milk cheese handmade by artisan cheesemakers at Philip and Carol Stansfield's family farm on the edge of Bodmin Moor near Liskeard in Cornwall. It is dry salted by hand before being left to mature for between 12 and 14 weeks.

Enjoy the cheese at room temperature on crusty bread or crackers with chutney and glass of port or red wine. Its mild flavour makes it very versatile and a perfect complement to many sauces & recipes.

It was voted Best Blue cheese at the 2006 British Cheese Awards and 2010 & 2014 World Cheese Awards, and it won World Champion Cheese at the World Cheese Awards 2010.

 

Cornish Jack

Cornish Jack is a traditional farmhouse Swiss cheese made by Lawrence and Rosie at the Padstow Cheese Company based at Port Issac.  It is full fat hard cheese with a fruity flavour and nutty tones. It has won several awards including Gold at the Global Cheese Awards in 2016.

This cheese is made using pasturised milk from Trewithen Dairies and traditional rennet in its making so is not suitable for vegetarians.  Matured for between 4 to 6 months the curd develops irregular holes, formed by bubbles of carbon dioxide as the cheese matures.

Fantastic as part of a cheeseboard, this versatile cheese is also great melted on top of a burger or cheese toastie. It goes really well with white wines and most beers.

 

Miss Wenna Brie

A mellow, smooth mould ripened soft cheese with a delicately wafer-thin velvety rind and subtle aroma.  This brie is made with vegetarian rennet and pasteurised cow’s milk.

A brie is a must on any cheeseboard, and this is sure to be a firm favourite for everyone. It won a Gold award at the Global Cheese Awards in 2018 and is made by Curds and Croust in Liskeard from Roddas milk by master cheesemaker Martin Gaylard.

This brie goes well with the traditional cheeseboard accompaniments and is an excellent partner for sweet chili jam.

Cornish Gouda

A very versatile cheese it’s great on sandwiches or a cheeseboard.  It is made on the farm near Looe from the milk from their family pedigree dairy herd. 

The cheese has been developed by Giel who started the Cornish Gouda Company when he was just 19 to ensure a future for the farm.  It is made using traditional techniques learnt in Holland. The farm strives for zero food miles in its supply chain. Their cheese is made solely from their own milk, with all of the cows born and reared on the farm and fed by crops grown on its land. A biomass boiler supplies the energy for the cheese production.

Matured for 5 up to 18+ months this cheese comes in a range of maturity levels from the easy eating semi mature with its creamy smooth texture up to the much drier richer extra-mature with large crystals giving a fantastic crunch. The mature cheese won ‘Best hard cheese’ at the Great British Cheese Awards.  Suitable for vegetarians as it is made with vegetarian rennet and pasteurised cow’s milk.

 

Miss Muffet

This is a sweet continental style washed curd cheese with a nutty creamy flavour.  It has a semi-soft smooth texture and a unique pink/grey natural mould rind.  It is ripened over a 4-6 week period which develops its sweet flavour due to the very low acidity left in the thoroughly washed curds. 

Just one of several fantastic cheeses made by Sue Proudfoot of Whalesborough Cheese based in Bude.  It is made from pasteurised cow’s milk and is suitable for vegetarians.  Over the years it has won several awards including a Three Star Gold at the Great Taste Awards 2011 and The Best Modern Cheese award at the Nantwich International Cheese Show 2013.

This cheese works well as part of a cheeseboard especially when partnered with chutneys featuring honey and nutty notes.

 

Helford Camembert

Helford Camembert is a full fat, traditionally made Camembert with an edible white rind. It has a 9 week from make shelf life but can be eaten from 2 weeks on according to taste. As it matures it becomes more runny. The South West’s only truly artisan Camembert.

It is made from vegetarian rennet and pasteurised milk by Treveador Farm Dairy in the far South-West of Cornwall.  In 2018 it won Gold at The Artisan Cheese Awards for best farmhouse cheese. 

Serve at room temperature on your cheeseboard to ensure you get the full developed flavour. Also delicious baked and served with toppings such as candied nuts or garlic, honey and rosemary.

 

Accompaniments

Alongside your cheeses you will want to serve a selection of sweet and salty accompaniments, and for meat lovers charcuterie and pâté, paired with different crackers and breads. It is not only the variety of tastes which is important but the colours and textures.

In our hampers we provide oat biscuits and thin crackers, with fruity chutneys. Our charcuterie comes from Deli Farm Charcuterie who make premium salami, coppa, and other air-dried meats, and we source our award-winning rillettes and pâtés from Cornish Charcuterie.  They have a fantastic selection from traditional pork rillettes through to salmon pâté with horseradish and dill and vegetarian alternatives such as their mushroom with chili and coriander. A selection of these meat and fish products gives contracting colours and textures which work so well with a great cheese selection. 

Add extra tang to your platter with salty olives, pickles, and crunchy nuts. If you want to add a homemade element then picked cucumber or courgette, often called ‘Bread & Butter Pickle’ is wonderful and really easy to make.  Complete the look with juicy grapes artfully draped and you will have a cheeseboard designed to wow!