The Ultimate British Cheeseboard
Putting together a cheeseboard is a relatively straightforward process, but with careful thought and a few additional extras it’s easy to turn a basic cheeseboard into a banquet. What follows is a guide to putting together an extraordinary British cheeseboard full of exciting flavours and textures. Our Fiesta Cheeseboard Chutney is, of course, the ideal accompaniment.
- It’s easy to overthink the cheese and suppose that you need more variety than you really do. Typically 5 or 6 cheeses will offer enough diversity to keep diners coming back for countless nuggets.
- Aim for a mixture of mild medium and stronger flavoured cheeses and include a good assortment of hard, soft, crumbly and runny cheeses. Think about colour and appearance – try to select cheeses that provide plenty of visual contrast. Here are a few suggestions:
- Hard cheeses – Red Leicester Lincolnshire Poacher and Smoked Cheddar are all full-flavoured safe options. Cornish Yarg ticks the box for delivering a firm cheese with a soft and delicate flavour.
- Blue cheeses – bored of stilton? How about Harrogate Blue – it’s creamy yet full-bodied. Alternatively try out Cornish Blue for a much milder tasting blue cheese experience.
- Goats Cheese – a soft and creamy goats’ cheese is almost mandatory on a cheeseboard. Luckily Britain is home to some exceptional examples such as Capricorn and Ragstone. Alternatively, look for artisan style versions with unusual shapes or an ash-crusted goats’ cheese such as Kidderton.
- Soft and runny cheese – Pictured in the image is Rollright a mellow, buttery cheese that oozes when cut. It’s the ideal centrepiece for the entire cheeseboard if you can find it. Other fantastic options include Cornish Brie and Tunworth, which is similar to Camembert.
- Crumbly cheese – if there’s room on your board opt for Wensleydale Caerphilly or white stilton. All are much drier and crumblier than the other cheeses mentioned and they pack a punch of bold flavour.
- Cheeseboard Enhancements
- To help the cheese really shine it’s useful to serve a variety of treats alongside them. Again colour, texture and flavour all play their part:
- Beyond crackers – think about including an assortment of breads and crackers to accommodate all tastes. Rye bread sunflower bread, sourdough and even crostini bread all partner with cheese beautifully. Include at least 3 choices.
- Fruit – grapes are always popular but have you tried serving dried fruits alongside the cheese too. See the recipe below for some lightly spiced poached apricots.
- Nuts – these add plenty of crunch and marry well with a great many cheeses. Walnuts hazelnuts and pecans are all well-placed on a cheeseboard. Consider also some lightly spiced candied nuts (recipe below). The crunch and the sweetness of these nuts is a particularly welcome addition alongside softer cheeses.
- Other Savouries – break with tradition and introduce a little meat into your cheeseboard. Slivers of pork pie scotch egg or mini sausage rolls complete this savoury feast in true British style.
- Gently Spiced Poached ApricotsPut 1 tablespoon of light brown sugar and 4 tablespoons of water into a small saucepan. Cook over a low heat to dissolve the sugar. Add in 100g dried apricots, 1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick (10cm) and 2 cloves. Cook, stirring frequently for around 10 minutes until the liquid has almost evaporated. Set aside to cool completely.
- Sweet-Spiced Candied NutsMix 250g nuts (cashews, pecans, hazelnuts and pistachios) in a bowl with 100g caster sugar, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger and a large pinch of salt. Whisk 1 egg white until frothy then pour over the nuts and mix well. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and cook for 30-40 minutes at 170C/ 325F/ GM 3 stirring every 10 minutes to avoid burning. Once the nuts look dry take out of the oven and let cool, then store for up to 1 month in an airtight jar. These nuts make a great addition to salads too.
Expert Tips • Serve around 150-200g of each cheese • 1kg cheese will serve around 5-6 people as a main course or 12 as dessert • Allow the cheese to come to room temperature before serving to allow the full flavour to develop • Lay everything onto the board just before serving to avoid the cheese drying out and crackers/ bread getting stale • Fresh rosemary adds a pop of colour • We highly recommend our Fiesta Cheeseboard Chutney, but our Harmony Sticky Fig Chutney and our Wicked Apple Chutney are fantastic alternatives. Click the links in the text to buy.