For our last staff cheese tasting of the year Stacey treated the team to a huge selection of cheeses, some French and some British but all from one of our favourite suppliers, Paxton & Whitfield. We think that these cheeses would make the perfect festive cheeseboard with some beautiful accompaniments and wine to go alongside them.
Fourme D’Ambert is a blue cheese that has been made in the Auvergne region of France since the Middle Ages. It is made with cow’s milk and has a mild fruity flavour. It is still made to a traditional method and aged for at least 28 days, allowing the cheese to develop softness and aroma.
Aurum is a new British “grilling cheese” which is made by award-winning cheesemaker Martin Gott and his partner Nicola in the Lake District. They use organic cow’s milk from a neighbouring farm and hand make the cheese using traditional methods, salting afterwards in brine. When cooked Aurum has a golden crust and a squeaky texture which is buttery and salty in flavour.
Comté is made in France on the border with Switzerland, up in the Alpes. It’s probably the most eaten cheese in France, equivalent to the British eating Cheddar. This particular Comté is selected by Fromagerie Androuet and ripened by Affineur Marcel Petite, who have been maturing Comté for generations.
Mothais Sur Feuille is a French goat’s cheese which is uniquely wrapped in a chestnut leaf. We think it is a stunning addition to any cheeseboard but the autumnal leaf gives it a look that is particularly good for this time of year. At the beginning of maturation the leaf takes moisture from the cheese but retains it and gives it back to the cheese when it is needed. Mothais Sur Feuille has a beautiful firm but creamy texture and a rich flavour, perfect for a goat’s cheese lover.
Celtic Soft is a soft cheese which is made in County Tipperary in Ireland, known for its lush pastures and clean air. This makes it the perfect environment for grazing cows and producing top quality milk. Celtic Soft, which is produced from this wonderful milk, is buttery in flavour with hints of mushroom – it’s also perfect for baking.
Pevensey Blue is a new cheese which is made in Sussex with milk from cows that graze the Pevensey Levels. It is similar to a Gorgonzola with creamy gentle flavour and a soft texture, slightly milder than a classic blue cheese. Despite being a fairly new cheese, Pevensey Blue has already won three gold awards at the Artisan Cheese Awards as well as being named Supreme Champion 2022.
Another award-winning cheese, Driftwood is a goat’s cheese which is made by White Lake Cheese in the heart of the West Country. Lightly coated in ash the cheese has the appearance of bark, hence where it got its namesake. It has a silky texture and a creamy flavour with hints of citrus.
Finally, our own cheeses Tunworth and Winslade, both soft cheeses and the perfect addition to any cheeseboard. Tunworth is a British Camembert with a soft white rind and earthy notes of cabbage and mushroom. Not only is it delicious served raw but also perfect for baking too. Winslade has a soft, spoonable texture and a buttery flavour, held together with a spruce bark band.
For us, the perfect accompaniments to our festive cheeseboard would include biscuits from Paxton and Whitfield’s Artisan Biscuits for Cheese range. You can’t have a cheeseboard without a chutney and Rosebud Preserves are second to none! We love their Fig Chutney but their Boxing Day Chutney couldn’t be more perfect for a Festive Cheeseboard!