If you love cheese as much as we do, there is no better way to enjoy it than by presenting a wide, colorful assortment on a beautiful tray to friends and family. Throw a 'matchmaking' party and ask your guests to pair their own favorite Bothwell cheeses with a few wines or ales. Or include a cheese tray as part of a buffet. Or offer an elegant final course to that perfect meal.
But how do you choose the right cheeses? We recommend picking a variety of colours, textures and flavours. To achieve this mix, simply select one cheese from each of our cheese categories. Pick an Aged Cheddar, a block of mild Marble, one or two cold-smoked cheeses like our Smoked Gouda and our Smoked Jalapeno Monterey Jack, a few specialty cheeses such as our Madagascar Green Peppercorn and our Black Truffle Cheese and we guarantee you've covered off the personal taste of every possible cheese lover.
Always remember to take your cheese out of the fridge about an hour before your guests arrive so that it's eaten at room temperature. This will ensure that your guests experience the full flavours and textures of your selection.
Here's another great tip. Slice up the hard and semi-soft cheeses, like Cheddar and Gouda, ahead of time for your guests. This way, they can help themselves without splintering your new wood board while trying to get at the cheese. It will also vary the look of your tray alongside the softer cheeses like Mozzarella, which can be left as a wedge or block. Remember to slice the cheese when it's cold for a perfect presentation.
Food for Thought
You've matched a few wines with your specially selected cheeses. Now you need to pick a few accompanying fruits and crackers. Add some extra colour with a variety of fresh or dried fruits, nuts, and pickles. But keep the presentation simple. The stars of the show should always be the cheeses. For fruit choices, we recommend grapes snipped into small clusters, and slices of apples and pears rubbed with lemon juice to prevent discolouration.
Lay out a bread basket alongside the cheese filled with a variety of sliced breads. Choose from baguette, crusty round bread, rye, nut breads, fruit breads or plain whole wheat.
On another tray or basket, offer an assortment of mild-flavoured crackers such as stone ground crackers, avoiding those heavily-seasoned snacks. Also try to avoid piling all of the crackers onto the cheese tray. Make sure your guests have plenty of room to navigate around the cheeses!
How much Cheese?
If you're serving cheese at the end of a meal, offer each guest about 50g of cheese. If you're enjoying cheese with cocktails either with or without dinner, we suggest slightly less than this amount, or 40g per person. If you're hosting a Wine and Cheese Party, serve about 250g of cheese for each guest.
Here are a few more simple reminders. If you've prepared your cheese tray before your guests arrive, cover it with a damp cloth to keep the cheeses moist.
Be careful - cheeses with varying flavours, colours and textures mixed together are not very appetizing. Make sure the cheeses do not touch on the tray. This is why we recommend serving the breads, crackers and other accompaniments in separate baskets.
We doubt you'll have any cheese left but if you do, don't forget to wrap the individual pieces separately to protect their aromas and flavours. You can use plastic wrap, aluminum foil or wax paper - just package them tightly and they should keep in the fridge for at least a few late night snacks.