FOOD NEWS Cheese for shar­ing, plus the best ham­pers

House Beautiful (UK) - - CONTENTS -

A cheese­board af­ter Christ­mas din­ner is as tra­di­tional as plum pud­ding, and ex­perts say that Stil­ton is still the first choice. But what else could you serve?

There’s cur­rently a resur­gence in in­ter­est in Bri­tish re­gional cheeses, and Sarah Ste­wart from ar­ti­sanal cheese shop Neal’s Yard Dairy, tells us she will be serv­ing a rich Mont­gomery’s ched­dar and ei­ther an Ap­pleby’s Cheshire or a Kirkham’s Lan­cashire. ‘Stick­ing with the tra­di­tional theme, I’d also have a Caer­philly made from goats’ milk and a Euro­pean-style soft cheese that’s been made in the UK.’ Mean­while, at long-es­tab­lished Paxton & Whit­field, Hero Hirsh ad­vises serv­ing fewer cheeses in big­ger quan­ti­ties. ‘More than four is con­fus­ing on the pal­ette,’ she says. Her choice would be a soft brie mar­bled with truf­fle, a ched­dar or gouda, and her wild­card would be Os­sau Iraty, a sweet and fudgy cheese from the Pyre­nees.

And the best time to break out the cheese­board? ‘Sev­eral hours af­ter lunch, when the chaos has died down,’ says Sarah, ‘with slices of ap­ple to cleanse the palate.’

Serve your cheese with crack­ers, in­tensely flavoured air-dried grapes on the vine and slices of ap­ple

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