The Ultimate Cheeseboard - Our cheesemongers choose their favourites.
Each of our cheesemongers pick 4 cheeses to have on their ultimate cheeseboard. We asked for, if possible, one hard, one soft, one blue and one goat/sheep although if they felt strongly enough about particular cheeses, then they could deviate from this.
Here's what they each picked.
It was a tough decision, but after much deliberation, soul-searching and a little bit of extra tasting I've narrowed it down to 4 that I'm very happy with. I've taken into account taste, appearance and also given thought to the cheesemaking process and the skills of the cheesemaker. Here are my 4:
Vintage Lincolnshire Poacher - I love this cheese. Similar to a cheddar in texture and slightly similar in taste, but there are also flavours from the French mountain cheeses such as Comté coming through which is a nod to the cheesemakers' training.
Cerney Ash - Another absolutely stunning cheese. Amazing, fluffy, light texture with perfectly balanced goat and citrus flavours. Looks great with it's pyramid shape and ash coating and tastes even better.
Langres - This is the cheese that made me want to become a cheesemonger. Distinctive wrinkly, orange rind, fudge like texture and subtle meaty, spicy flavours. An absolute belter of a cheese. Great eaten young as well as more mature.
Perl Las - When you simply can't stop eating a blue cheese then you know it must be good. Well balanced blue, salty and sweet flavours and a wonderful creamy, supple texture.
Carboncino - A Sunday afternoon post-work treat. All you need is some crusty bread, cut it open and let it run away with itself. Then get dipping!
Burt's Blue - I'm normally a strong kind of blue person but this changed my perception of blue cheese. Soft and mild with a lovely blue finish, it complements any cheeseboard to perfection.
Ribblesdale Sheep - I was a latecomer to sheeps' cheese but this is a belter. Strong, distinctive flavour and a light crumbly texture. Can't recommend this enough. Their goats cheese is pretty epic too.
Cave Aged Cheddar (Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company) - Twelve months matured in cave? What's not to love about this fella. A really strong cheddar that I sometimes indulge myself with grated on a jacket spud. Naughty but nice!
I've chosen these cheeses because I love how unusual they all are.
Strathdon Blue - creamy yet peppery, the textures and flavours work so well together. A brilliant Scottish cheese.
Carboncino - Deliciously gooey and moreish, plus it is a mixture of cow, sheep and goat milk, which gives it a really unique flavour.
Red Wine Farmer - Gruyere which is washed in red wine, and so becomes much more complex than regular Gruyeres.
Cave Aged Goat Cheddar - a cheddar, made with goats milk and aged in caves. Need I say more.
You will shortly be able to buy the above cheese selections as bespoke cheese hampers in our online shop so keep a lookout.
We'd love to hear what you would have on your perfect cheeseboard? Please let us know in the comments section below.