A Festive Voyage of Discovery
It never ceases to amaze us that all cheeses start from the same four ingredients - rennet, starter culture, milk and salt, yet there is such an incredible variety of cheese tastes and textures to explore all across the world. This Christmas, we've added more cheeses to our range than ever before - working with pioneering artisan cheesemakers in the UK and across the Continent and we're so excited for you to taste them!
We know from conversations in our cheese shops that you all have your favourite style of cheese and those regular classics that you choose for your annual Christmas cheeseboard. Our cheesemongers love to encourage you to try something new, so we've put together our Top 10 cheese exploration guide to help you make the best cheese discoveries this Christmas...
1. If you like Baked Camembert, try Cremoso
Is there anything more delicious than oozy, gooey, spoonable cheeses? The delight of a Cremoso is that it's like melted cheese at room temperature, and thanks to the fact its made with sheeps' milk, its deliciously sweet and creamy. As an added bonus, it's made with a classic thistle rennet making it suitable for vegetarians.
2. If you like Epoisse, try Herve
Epoisses is known for its full-on flavour and silky texture, it can become over-ripe very quickly however and it's becoming increasingly difficult to find a raw milk version. Herve is Belgium's only PDO cheese, and is definitely a punchy little cheese. Whilst the breakdown is firmer than an Epoisses, the flavour undoubtedly delivers a punch!
3. If you like Comté, try Schnebbelhorn
Rich alpine cheeses like Comté, Gruyere and Beaufort are always a crowd pleaser. The vast size of a single wheel of this style of cheese means that it takes time to age. The beauty of the Schnebelhorn being a smaller wheel means that it develops those nutty and more complex flavours in half the time. It's also a double cream cheese, making it all the more indulgent!
4. If you like Chimay, try Maida Vale
The big aroma and squidgy texture of cheeses of washed rind cheeses are popular with cheese fans, and none more so than those washed in alcohol. From Chimay to Stinking Bishop, this tradition dates back to historic preservation techniques used by monks. Maida Vale is a thoroughly modern cheese, washed in a local IPA, that has all the glorious funk that you would want with this style.
5. If you like Gouda, try Old Groendal
With a sweet, caramel flavour and crystalline texture, its no surprise that aged Gouda styles are so popular. This year we discovered Old Groendal, a Belgian Gouda-style with all of those crunchy crystals that people love. It's also made with vegetarian rennet - helpful if you are on the hunt for a continental cheese for a veggie friend.
6. If you like a Chevre Log, try Georgelette Buchette
French goats' milk cheese logs are über versatile and are as delicious on a cheese board as they are in a salad. Raw Milk Georgelet Buchette is made by Paul Georgelet; a reknowned artisan cheesemaker from the Poitou Charentes.
7. If you like Wensleydale with Cranberries, try Kirkhams Lancashire paired with our Apricot & Cranberry Chutney
Fruity flavours lend themselves to pairing with cheese perfectly, but they aren't for everyone. Why not give your guests the option this Christmas? Our deliciously buttery, traditional Lancashire has all the crumble you'd expect from a territorial cheese and the chutney brings the seasonal sweetness.
8. If you like Raclette, try Ogleshield.
As the cool nights draw in, theres nothing quite like a melted cheese feast. The traditional French dish of Raclette is always a cheesemonger's favourite, especially when paired with pickles and charcuterie. Ogleshield is a wonderful British cheese made to a similar recipe to the alpine classic and works super well with Raclette grills and heaters.
9. If you like Reblochon, try Baronet
Tartiflette is a dish you'll often find on the menu in restaurants in the mountains. Layers of potato, onion and lardons; crowned with bubbling, melted cheese - delicious after a hard days skiing. For an English twist, why not swap out your Reblochon for the beautiful Baronet, made with organic guernsey milk.
10. If you like Morbier, try Ashcombe
Do you love supple cheeses? Classics include Emmentaller and Morbier and usually have a luscious milky, nutty quality. Ashcombe is made by award-winning, young cheesemaker David Jowett and even has the ash line reminiscent of its alpine cousin.
We hope you enjoy exploring new favourites for your Christmas cheeseboard and look forward to hearing your feedback!
If you know someone who loves trying new cheeses, we've also put together the perfect Christmas cheese gift for them in our Discovery Cheese Selection