This Christmas, as part of the Discover Farmhouse Cheese programme, Bord Bia is encouraging cheese lovers to celebrate the festive season with the perfect farmhouse cheese board. The Discover Farmhouse Cheese programme is an EU co-funded campaign organised by Bord Bia which celebrates farmhouse cheese in Ireland. Whether you are creating your own cheese board for entertaining friends and family, or bringing it as a gift when visiting loved ones, Bord Bia has several useful tips and advice to make sure your cheese board is a success.
Bord Bia’s top tips to help you create the perfect cheese board this festive season:
- Keep the cheese selection small; it’s better to have a couple of good size pieces of cheese than a lot of smaller bits. The cheese will look more appetising and will stay in better condition.
- Select cheeses that are different sizes, shapes, flavours and texture. For example, you could have a soft, blue, hard, and goat’s cheese to give your guests a great selection.
- Place the cheeses in order of strength – avoid having the strong pungent cheeses beside delicately flavoured cheeses.
- Try to leave the cheese at room temperature for approximately 2-3 hours before serving, it’s important to let the cheese breath before consumption.
- For presentation purposes try to serve the cheeses on a slate, marble or wooden board, or on a straw mat.
- Serve with bread or cheese crackers leaving room beside each cheese for your guests to slice.
- Apples, pears, or grapes make a nice addition along with honey, jellies, chutney or quince.
As craft beer continues to grow in popularity why not swap the traditional wine and cheese for the perfect combination of farmhouse cheese and craft beer.
Cheese lovers can match cheeses with a complimenting craft beer giving you a mixture of delightful intense flavours. Pairing farmhouse cheese and craft beer is about creating a balance, either contrasting or complementing the flavours.
By pairing farmhouse cheese with craft beer you’ll have the satisfaction knowing that you’ll be supporting two very important Irish industries this Christmas. When pairing beer and cheese there are no set rules, you should start with the basic idea that lighter coloured beers go with the fresher cheeses while the darker, more intense brews often work better with a more richly flavoured cheese.
When pairing it’s better to drink beer from glasses, not bottles. This will allow you to appreciate the aroma and colour before you sip it, drinking slowly to enjoy the flavours.
Try to serve both the cheese and beer at the appropriate temperature. If either of these is too cold, you simply won’t taste them properly! Remove cheese from the fridge at least 1 hour before you hope to eat it and around 8-12ºC degrees is good for most craft beers.
For more information on how to pair farmhouse cheese as well as creating a Christmas cheese board, tips and recipes, please visit: www.DiscoverFarmhouseCheese.ie