Fiona Beckett and Jess Trethowan of the Cheese School in Bristol (respected cheese writer and cheese maker respectively) picked this wonderful selection of British unpasteurised handmade cheeses, which will make the perfect cheeseboard for Christmas entertaining “At Cheese School, we like to help people create different kinds of cheeseboards balancing colours, tastes and textures. We also like to serve our cheeses very simply in large chunks that your guests can delve into themselves. Big chunks of cheeses on a large wooden board or slate look wonderful and it gives a nice sense of sharing.”
Ragstone: Classic goats cheese log, with a bloomy rind, lots of flavour without it ever getting pungently goaty, occasionally there is a hint of coconut about this sublime cheese.
Gorwydd Caerphilly: Delicate citrus notes with crumbly texture. Richer creamy outer layer taste that contrasts well with the light firmer centre. The rind has earthy mushroom notes that add to the overall depth of flavour.
Hafod: An organic Cheddar from West Wales, slightly nuttier, and sweeter than a more traditional cheddar, the cheese has a firm texture and a good richness due to the milk from Ayreshire cattle.
Stichelton: Pronounced blue tang quickly gives way to a more subtle buttery creaminess. Stichelton comes into it’s own with an incredibly long finish that can give rise to sweet almost fruit flavours a beautifully complex cheese.
Homewood Fresh Ewe Curd: Light and fresh, mild tang.
“We would serve these cheeses with crispy British apples or ripe British pears. A simple chutney, jelly or membrillo can also make a great addition, as can some seasonal nuts. The perfect cheeseboard should be seasonally selected and its accompaniments should echo this.”
“We love Peter’s Yard crispbread with these cheeses – they are the perfect partners. Both crispbread and cheese are beautifully and deliciously simple in their use of the raw ingredients. The pure wholemeal sourdough goodness of the crispbread with a smidgeon of sweetness (from the honey) enhances all of our chosen cheeses – without overshadowing them as some of the more fancy “cheese biscuits” can do. Peter’s Yard crispbread is subtly brilliant, it doesn’t try to show off and that’s why we love it.”
Fiona Beckett and Jess Trethowan