Cheese and wine are my two favourite things. So much so, that the first night of my Hen Do last year focused entirely around these two things (thank goodness for my BFF Lo Parsons) and my Husband and I received mainly wine or cheese related gifts at our wedding. In fact, I’ll share a secret with you, I love cheese and wine so much, that I’ve put on at least a stone and a half since entering paid employment as a result of being able afford to buy these two items far too often.
I’m also a little bit of an Instagram fiend. Okay, well, I’m slightly behind the times in the fact that I’ve just got the hang of Instagram stories. Nevertheless, when an email appeared with the title “How to Create an Instagram-worthy Cheeseboard,” I knew that another trip to Sainsbury’s was on the cards.
Let’s face it, no cosy night in, soirée with friends or restaurant dinner is complete without a cheese board. Adam Woolven, Head Chef at the eco-friendly Island Grill, has shared his tips on how to fashion a cheeseboard that looks as good as it tastes.
Mix It Up
Adam reckons you need to mix up the board a little, and have a mixture of textures (soft, hard, and crumbly), strengths and sources, such as cow’s, sheep’s and goat’s cheese. Include at least one soft cheese and one blue cheese, but cheddar, stilton and brie are the go-to cheeses for a board. 80g per person should be enough for an after-dinner board and your cheeseboard should always be served at room temperature.
Obviously, you want to make your cheeseboard appealing to the eye Consider filling the board with a range of colours and shapes. Adding fresh and dried fruit to a cheeseboard is an easy way to make it look impressive, as well as adding a vibrant touch. In the spring and summer, it is best to add cherries and berries; whereas in the winter you should go for dried apricots, fresh grapes and apples.
A solid cheeseboard should include a variety of savoury and salty items such as balsamic onions, olives and roasted nuts – walnuts paired with stilton makes for a classic combination. Other savoury accompaniments could be celery (a great palate cleanser between cheeses!), and of course some crackers, bread and breadsticks.
It goes without saying that condiments should complement the cheese. While a drizzle of honey tends to go well over blue cheeses or goat’s cheese, for something a bit different, pair a strawberry black pepper jam with brie, which is less sweet than a traditional jam. Chutney tastes best with aged cheddar and quince paste can be spread onto crackers and eaten with Manchego cheese. Make sure you don’t forget the butter!
Make it Insta-Friendly
To make it Instagram worthy, sprinkle some edible flowers, dried vine leaves or herb sprigs on the cheeseboard. Not only will these finishing touches make you look ‘well fancy’ and elegant, they will also create a fragrant aroma when you serve the board to your guests.
Is it just me or is everyone really, really craving cheese right now?