On toast, in pasta sauce, atop pizza or just eaten in a fat wedge straight from the fridge… we love cheese! 4 June is National Cheese Day and we can’t wait.
If any food is in need of a day of celebration, it’s cheese. With a myriad of different varieties available, our fridge would seem lonely without the customary block of cheddar within. Although cheddar is the UK’s favourite, accounting for 55% of our cheese purchases, we also love mozzarella, Brie, Camembert and many other kinds of cheese from the continent. Halloumi is the Cypriot newcomer to our cheese lexicon and we’ve fallen in love with the versatile, squeaky cheese. It’d be impossible to confine our love for cheese to a single day, but many of our clients do like to include it on the menu for their special day – try our fabulous cheese board as the perfect ending to your wedding meal.
Our cheese suppliers
Here at Ross and Ross, we’re constantly committed to sourcing the best local artisan produce. We love cheese just as much as you do, which is why King Stone Dairy is our first stop when looking for something special for your cheeseboard. Based at the King Stone Dairy, on King Stone Farm in Oxfordshire, our friend David Jowett produces two unique farmhouse cheeses using milk from just 30 cows. David trained in culinary arts before cheese took him away from the kitchen and is now a SALSA accredited member of the Specialist Cheesemakers Association. We always take David’s advice on what is best that week, as he is the guru of cheese! His Rollright cheese has a permanent place on our Ross & Ross Cheese Board for the foreseeable future.
If we’re looking for an artisan cheesemonger, you’ll find us at The Jericho Cheese Company in Oxford. As well as stocking our favourite King Stone Dairy cheeses, they have a wide variety of the highest quality cheese from around the British Isles and beyond. They’re specialists in raw cheeses, and we’ve found some real gems on their counter that we haven’t seen anywhere else. If you find yourself a bit overwhelmed by the selection, they host very informative tasting evenings as well.
Putting together the perfect cheeseboard
In celebration of National Cheese Day, why not put together a cheese board? It’s a great savoury alternative to pudding, or an ideal accompaniment to a drinks evening. Picking the right selection can be daunting, but we’ve got a few pointers to help.
When creating a cheeseboard for an event, we tend to opt for variations on the same theme: one cheddar, one blue, a soft cheese, and one other, usually based on the preferences of the client. Feel free to add more, but we find that this is a good selection to start with and if you have fewer selections, you’ll have room for bigger blocks. Always make sure that there’s plenty to go round!
Remove your cheese from the fridge an hour or two before serving to allow it to reach room temperature and for optimal flavour. When you’re choosing crackers to accompany your cheeseboard, we look for something crisp and mild so as not to detract from the taste of the cheeses. Sometimes we shun crackers altogether and opt for hunks fo fresh bread instead.
Grapes are served on a cheese board as a palate cleanser, so have a couple between each variety to really taste the depth of flavours. Pears work brilliantly too.
There are no hard and fast rules, but we think great wine and great friends are a must!
Cheese and weddings
The cheese course is no longer an afterthought in the wedding ceremony. We’ve recently seen a rise in brides and grooms choosing to do away with a traditional wedding cake and replace it with several wheels of cheese instead. A ‘cheese cake’ can be a delicious talking point to your celebrations – talk to our experts if it tickles your fancy!