Fromage Faux Pas: How to create the perfect cheese board

29 Nov 2016

Want to take your festive cheese board to the next level? Here, Nick Bath, Managing Director at the Blue Cow Cheese Company, shares his top tips and cheese board assembling tricks.

Well folks, it’s almost December which means one thing at The Black Truffle…CHRISTMAS!

This time of the year we’re all about celebratory food – baked hams, rolled turkey breast, panettone and oodles of scrummy festive gifts and cheese.

Perhaps the most universally enjoyed food over the festive season is cheese – between the random pop-ins, invitations to a mate’s place and lively Chrissie shindig, there’s a never a time when a plate piled high with cheese isn’t a welcome.

But what constitutes a great cheese board, and what can you do to really impress your guests? For tips and cheese board tricks, we turned to fromage aficionado Nick Bath, Managing Director at Blue Cow Cheese Company.

 

BT: What key ingredients should every successful cheese board include? 

NB: When considering a successful cheese board, always consider colour, aromatics, texture and flavour. A cheese board can also be expressed within the following ways – milk selection (for example sheep or goats milk cheeses), type, provenance and seasonality. Keep it simple, allow the cheese to do the talking and pair with a plain baguette or biscuits, and a simple fruit accompaniment.

 

BT: What would feature on your dream cheese board?

NB: On my ultimate cheese board, I would select a triple cream from France such as Gres de Champenois, an oozing washed rind from Burgundy such as Époisses de Bourgogne, a piece of Fine Cheese Co cave aged cheddar from the UK, superb nutty Ossau-Iraty ewes milk from the Pyrenees, and sweet and sticky Tosi Gorgonzola Dolce from Piedmont, Italy

 

BT: What common mistakes do entertainers make when putting a cheese board together?

NB: The most common mistake is to overburden the cheese board with fruit, nuts and other accompaniments. Simple is best – allow the cheese to be the star of the show. Avoid nuts as they leave an oiliness across the palate, and never add citrus or tropical fruits.

 

BT: What do you recommend people do to take their cheese board to the next level?

NB: If you are adventurous, consider a cheese board focused on either a region, a milk type or style. For example, you could serve a selection of three white mould cheeses made in different regions (Italy, France and Australia), or made with different milk types such as cows, goats, buffalo and a mixed milk (goat and ewes milk)).

 

BT: Are there any current cheese board trends?

NB: What is trending with cheese boards now is pairing the cheeses with craft beers and whiskies. Again, it’s important to pair flavours together that will complement each other.

 

BT: What should people always have on hand in case friends pop in unexpectedly?  

In summer, a jar of marinated Meredith Feta and a Blue Cow French-style triple cream.

 

LOOKING FOR CHEESE BOARD INSPIRATION?

Pop into The Black Truffle and explore our diverse range of artisan cheeses. Alternatively, let us do the work by ordering an exceptional cheese platter from our online store.