How to create the perfect cheese board
As we look ahead to a summer of garden lunches and long, lazy afternoons that blur into evening, our minds turn towards simple suppers and no-fuss lunches with impact. And there are few meals that combine low-effort with show-stopping potential quite as well as the humble cheeseboard. With minimal preparation (and a well-timed delivery from Barbury Hill), your lunch or dinner party can go from pretty ‘grate’ to ‘brie-lliant’ in no time. Barbury Hill features all the elements you need to create the perfect cheeseboard, from cheese to charcuterie, chutney to wine, so we’ve taken a look at how to bring these together for your next party.
Of course, how many cheeses and which you serve is a personal choice, depending on your tastes and appetite but we’d suggest that three to five avoids overwhelming your guests. This also allows you to feature one or two of the three key types - hard, soft and blue.
Hard: We’d recommend a Deluxe Cheddar from Black Cow. From the West Dorset farm that also produces Black Cow Vodka, this crumbly, intense cheddar is part of their cycle of sustainability, where both the curds and whey are used to avoid unnecessary waste.
Soft: A standout star on any cheeseboard is likely to be the award-winning Baron Bigod. Featured in a number of Barbury Hill collections and sold individually, Baron Bigod is a rich, creamy cheese with a smooth, velvety texture. Made from the milk of Montbeliarde cows, this Brie-de-Mieux style cheese is the only one of its kind in the UK.
Blue: Awarded Supreme Champion at the World Cheese Awards in 2014, the Bath Blue is made from the milk of organic cows and aged for 8-10 weeks to give it a classic blue-veined, creamy taste.
For a hint of decadence, the Truffle Baron Bigod adds an indulgent blend of mascarpone and summer truffle cream to the earthy flavours of the Baron Bigod. And we can’t resist the nutty notes of the Wyfe of Bath with its cheering orange rind.
On the Side
The Preservation Society’s Apple & Ale Chutney stands up well to a strong cheddar like the Black Cow, while their Cranberry & Cabernet Relish has a zesty tang that complements a soft cheese like the Baron Bigod or a Bath Soft.
But if serving as a supper or as part of a larger lunch, then the world is your oyster. Try a trio of The Preservation Society’s chutneys and relishes and a bowl of crusty bread or crackers. A smorgasbord of cured meats, smoked fish, pâté and even oysters will take your meal from simple to celebratory in an instant.
The Foodie’s Alternative to Flowers
We can’t think of many occasions that aren’t substantially improved by a well-crafted cheeseboard. A simple supper, a savoury pudding, a long lunch with wine. And we’ve found a Barbury Hill selection of cheese is always well-received as a gift when visiting friends and family or as an alternative to flowers as a gift for the host. And if you can’t visit in person, Barbury Hill food and drink gifts and hampers can be delivered to any door across the UK.
So let us know, which cheese disappears first on your cheeseboard?
by Rebecca Lancaster, Copywriter
Rebecca, a talented writer, is a friend of Barbury Hill’s. When she’s not eating the best of British food and drink, she is writing about it. And when she’s not writing about it, she’s thinking about it.