Selecting your own cheeseboard
When choosing cheeses consider those who will be sharing the cheese.
Are they adventurous or conservative? Are they vegetarian? Is anyone
pregnant? Do they have an allergy to cows' milk and can only eat
ewes' or goats' milk cheeses? Of course, don't forget to include
you own favourites. When selecting your cheese it is also worth
considering a range of textures, colours, milk types, shapes and
strengths of flavour.
No cheese should be less than 250 grammes in weight since this
can look mean and the cheese will be more prone to drying out. The
number of cheeses on a cheese board depends on the number of guests,
but generally it is advisable to have no more than six or seven
How much cheese per person
This depends on the occasion. If the cheeseboard follows a heavy
meal then 70 to 90 grammes per person will be sufficient. If the
cheese selection has a more major role, at cheese and wine parties
for instance, then allow 100 to 150 grammes or more. Of course,
you can modify these amounts to suit the appetites of your guests.
Ideally, cheese should be stored in a cool, damp environment e.g.
a cellar or larder. One can experiment using a garage or shed (possible
during the winter months) but care must be taken to protect the
cheese from pests. Cheese should be left in the waxed paper provided
and then loosely wrapped in a damp tea towel and placed in a sturdy
box. If the cheese dries out then the tea towel needs to be dampened.
If the cheese grows mould quickly then the tea towel is too damp.
Alternatively, store cheese in the warmest part of the refrigerator
(often the only choice in modern centrally heated houses). Cheese
should be left in the waxed paper provided. However, hard cheeses,
if kept for extended periods, should be wrapped in cling film to
prevent them from drying out. Whole cheeses should be wrapped in
a damp cloth and turned over twice a week to prevent a 'soggy bottom'
Allow your cheeses to sit at room temperature for at least two hours
before serving. Arrange them on a plate, board or tile and decorate
with grapes, apples and cheese biscuits.
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