Have you ever wondered how to create the perfect cheese and biscuit pairing? Here’s a few tips that we have collected to ensure the perfect combination in the run up to Christmas.
Choosing your Biscuit
The biscuit has the vital role in performing as a mini plate for cheese. It can be soft, hard, sweet or savoury. Here at Norton Barton Artisan Food Village, Popti have created a range of biscuits specifically with the aim to be smothered on a range of different cheeses. My personal favourite is the Buttermilk and Oat Cracker, it is sweet enough to be eaten on its own but also takes the edge off an extra mature cheddar.
It is important to remember that the biscuit should be used as a palate cleanser and shouldn’t take the attention away from the cheese. The suggested ratio of biscuit to cheese is 30/70.
Selecting the Right Cheese
More and more cheeses are popping up on shop shelves every year, all with their own unique flavours and textures. As a rule of thumb, cheese should always be served at room temperature to develop the flavour and aroma. To get the most out of a soft cheese, it needs to be eaten with the rind on. The perfect accompaniment would be a Popti Cracked Black Pepper Crackers with a room temperature Cornish Brie.
The aroma of food is such a huge part of the tasting process. Don’t be afraid to discreetly smell the cheese before eating it, it will enhance your overall experience.
Poshing it up a Bit
If you’re putting on a bit of a gathering, big or small, there are a few ways you can jazz up your cheese board. A classic addition to cheese and biscuits are chutneys, they come in a wide range of varieties, sweet, savoury, spicy etc. Having a varied selection will encourage others to try them all with range of different cheeses. We think you cannot beat a spiced tomato chutney dolloped on to a Popti Multi Seed Cracker with a slice of Manchego cheese.
Fruit jellies are a growing trend when it comes to jazzing up cheese and biscuits. They are full of autumn flavours like, damson, quince or plum. They have the ability to draw out the more subtle flavours in strong cheeses such as Stilton.
There are guidelines on how to serve and consume cheese and biscuits and they are as follows:
There should not be more than four cheeses on a single cheese board. The cheeses must fall into one of the main categories: aged, soft, firm or blue.
Cheeseboard 1: Mature Cheddar, Goats Cheese, Mimolette and Roquefort
Cheeseboard 2: Gouda, Camembert, Edam, and Stilton
Cheeseboard 3: Swiss cheese, Boursin, Cantal Cheese and Gorgonzola Dolce
When cheese is consumed on its own, it should be eaten with a knife, more specifically, a fork-tipped spear knife to prevent another flavours to be transferred from your fingers.
Port is traditionally served with cheese and biscuits. The most popular choice is a Tawney port, preferably 20 years old or a Ruby Port. Although both port and a strong mature cheese are both powerful in flavour, when combined they soften and become smooth and very very moreish.