Putting together a classic cheese board is well documented. A good selection; a blue, a hard, something gooey, something goaty. Keep the crackers simple and the chutney fruity. However, for the true turophiles out there, this is simply level one. For those who want to crank it up a notch or two, I present to you the truly decadent: Cheese Feast.
Picture the scene. Five people, freshly baked bread, every cracker under the sun, pickles and chutneys, pate and rillete, port, wine. And, most importantly, 15 different fromage delights. Henry VIII would be proud.
Life’s too short (and the wine was too plentiful) to go into detail about every single cheese that was devoured over the course of the evening. Nevertheless we did devise a little ‘Strictly’esque game especially for this Month’s Selection to amuse ourselves.
Disclaimer: My guests decided that they would all like pseudonyms, which were assigned post a rather good bottle of port. Apologies.
Introducing our judging panel! The Walnut Falcon (a muso of few words), Jonny Longlegs (our tall, straight man), Maple Leaf (a visitor from guess where….) and Priscilla Queen of Desserts (the Oscar Wilde of the pack)
Tomme de Chevre
The Walnut Falcon: “Ooh” – listening choice would be; ‘Linger’ by the Cranberries
Jonny Longlegs: Sweet, with a pleasant after taste.
Maple Leaf: Texture like freshly packed snow.
Priscilla: The coating of the mouth allows the taste buds to be tickled.
Verdict: A delicious example of a firmer goat’s cheese, with a pleasing texture and sweetness.
Maple Leaf: Better than the best butter I’ve ever had eh!
Jonny Longlegs: Great consistency, which melts in the mouth.
Priscilla: As the cream dissipates in my mouth, a succulent tang emerges that pleases all the senses.
The Walnut Falcon: “Smooth” – listening choice would be; “Lady in Red” Chris de Burgh
Verdict: An elegant and clean cheese, that looks beautiful on a slate cheese board.
Priscilla: Would be lovely tossed over parpadelle.
Maple Leaf: Punchy, reminds me of artisan focaccia, almost yeasty.
The Walnut Falcon: “Garden-esque” listening choice would be; “Green Onions” Booker T and the MGs
Jonny Longlegs: Fantastic paired with cold meats, especially salami.
Verdict: Unusual, herby french cheese, perfect for antipasti et al.
Jonny Longlegs: Best blue I’ve had in a long time.
Priscilla: Like celebrating Christmas in August.
Maple Leaf: I want a slab of that on a rare Alberta Beef Steak.
Walnut Falcon: “Classy” listening choice would be “Blue Velvet” Bobby Vinton
Verdict: A popular, full flavoured blue cheese with creaminess and tang.
Wookey Hole Cheddar
Jonny Longlegs. Like coming home. Classic. Exactly what you want from a Cheddar.
Walnut Falcon: “Reliable” listening choice would be “Stand by me” Bill Withers.
Priscilla: Everything that is good about this green and pleasant land.
Maple Leaf: I would return to it again and again, like a polar bear returns to its ices floats.
Verdict: A proper cheddar, satisfying and perfect for a cheese and pickle sandwich.