Creating a cheese board throws up all sorts of possibilities. For some, a single piece of cheese can complete a meal and for others a selection of options is perfect. As a rule 80g in an ideal sized portion per person if you’re serving it at the end of a meal; if it is a big element of the meal allow 100-150g depending on the cheese.
When putting together a cheese board, ask the cheesemonger’s advice. They’ll know what’s good that week and will suggest cheeses you may not have tried before, or new combinations. Alternatively, just buy cheeses you know you like; try to avoid flavours that are very pungent and may clash on the plate. The simplest options are often the best, so opt for a mix of a hard, soft and blue cheese. For the hard cheese try Westcombe Cheddar, add in a soft sheep or goat’s cheese such as Ragstone or Wigamore and finally a Blue such as Beenleigh Blue.
Cheese should be removed from the fridge at least 2 hours before serving to allow it to reach room temperature. Place the cheeses on the board you wish to serve them, remove any paper wraps and cover with a damp, clean tea towel or cloth.
Having the right tools makes serving cheese easier. A knife with holes is good for soft cheeses (to stop them sticking to the blade), or one that is very thin and narrow. Use a robust knife for hard cheeses. If you’re in the habit of buying chunks of Parmesan, a stubby knife will prove useful. Serve with a crisp slice of pear or apple, some crackers and a chutney remembering that the cheese is the star, so the accompaniments mustn’t out-do it.