The perfect cheeseboard - according to Mumsnetters
Do you want to dazzle your family, friends and prospective lovers with your cheese expertise? Suggestions for the perfect cheese board are a perennially popular topic here on Mumsnet; we've rounded up the very best, along with some ingenious hints and tips , to make this five-step guide to the perfect selection de fromage. Enjoy!
WARNING: If you're remotely hungry, on a diet, or pregnant and can't eat unpasteurised anything - look away now.
1. Let's start with the basics:
"You need at least three cheeses: a soft cheese, a hard cheese, a blue cheese."
"I would be delighted with a Comté (pictured), Cashel Blue or Dolcelatte, Brie, a strong Cheddar, a Lancashire like Kirkhams."
"My current favourites are Manchego and Parlick Fell."
"The best ever blue cheese ... Colston Bassett!! In fact, it is probably what the extra pounds on my thighs are made from."
2. The age-old question: biscuits or bread?
"You need bread if this is in lieu of a meal, as otherwise a nice cheeseboard is a dessert or a snack. I suggest a nice freshly baked white bloomer, cut in thick sliced and halved, as well as a dark walnut and fig or cranberry loaf."
"Mostly you want the biscuit to be bland and provide texture - that is ALL a biscuit needs to do."
3. And if you're going to have butter...
"Have your butter a room temperature. Nothing worse than rock hard butter that splinters your crackers when you are trying to scrape a sliver on."
4. Of course a really good cheese board is much more than simply cheese
"In my peasant opinion, no cheeseboard is complete without some fig jam and an onion chutney containing red onions."
"Flakes of Parmesan, slices of chorizo, and olives are nice together all on one longish platter, to eat together."
"A home-made pâté would be lovely. You will also need celery, grapes, oatcakes, selection of crackers..."
"As long as you have a decent Shropshire Blue and an Appleby's Cheshire, I'll be happy to join you. If you were to add some decent Brie and a goat's cheese, with some Parmesan biscuits, crumbly oaty crackers, apple slices, grapes and some figs, I'd probably fall in love with you. "
5. If all else fails, get a professional to help then proceed to take all the credit.
"Do you have any cheese shops near you? Because then you can go and ask for advice and they usually let you try everything and you can pretend to be indecisive and have seconds."
But remember - always approach cheeseboarding with caution. It can get out of hand:
"I sometimes imagine fantasy cheeseboards when I can't get to sleep."