1 February 2016:
This month's Cheese Boards

Every month we sit down with the cheesemongers in the Cheese Room and – bearing in mind what has been eating especially well and in season – select four cheese boards. Ideal for parties of four to six (or a week's worth of snacking cheese in the fridge) we include a packet of our own label biscuits with each board, as well as a straw mat for tasting, making it as simple as opening the box and unwrapping the cheese.

February French Board, £45

February French Board, £45

We begin in Sancerre with Crottin de Chavignol, perfectly aged to a toasted nutty profile and equally good on toast under the grill; Saint Marcellin, a classic bloomy rind from the Rhone-Alpes, has a surprising degree of complexity for something so young, with the terroir emerging in a persistent finish; Flanders' Mimolette Extra Vieille introduces sweetness, with its butterscotchy, burnt caramel notes; Munster, from Alsace, is everything one hopes for in a washed rind – aromatic, melting, with strong depths of charred beef & rich nuttiness; we finish with Bleu d'Auvergne, an essential from central France: buttery, with edgy notes of minerality and a savoury arc of flavour. 

February British Board, £55

February British Board, £55

Devon's Ticklemore opens the board with bright lactic notes that deepen into a sweet, almondy finish; Winslade, which has really come into its own this winter, showcases earth from the bloomy rind, delicate woodiness from the bark collar, and silky richness from the cow's milk; Gorwydd Caerphilly, from Wales, has a gorgeous dual-texture – buttery and earthy below the rind with a crumblier, lemony centre; Rollright, Oxfordshire's newest washed rind, is masterful, with tangy earthy notes and a texture seldom seen outside of French Monastery cheeses; Cote Hill Blue, Lincolnshire's renowned unpasteurised blue, does a lot at once, and with success: a hit of blue, a melting, rich pate, and a light bloom on the rind, lending earthiness.

February Cheesemonger's Board, £55

February Cheesemonger's Board, £55

Golden Cross, of East Sussex, opens the board with nutty mild notes and a gorgeous fudgy texture; Coulommiers, made in the region and style of Brie de Meaux, has all of the notes of brassica we want in Brie but with added creaminess in texture; Sao Jorge, of the Azores, is both similar to many firm cheeses and totally unlike anything else – the sweetness of some alpine cheeses with the texture & earthiness of farmhouse cheddars; Burgundy's Ami du Chambertin, a kind of stouter, deeper Epoisses, melts gorgeously on the palate, with aromatic notes contributing a massive depth of flavour; finishing with Rogue River Blue, all the way from Oregon, we round out with sensory overload: wrapped in grape leaves macerated ClearCreek Pear Brandy, the pate is sweet, spicy and powerful. 

February Italian Board, £55

February Italian Board, £55

For February's Italian Board we begin with the mixed milk Fior di Langa, from Piedmont, lending the acidity of goat's milk, the sweetness of ewe's milk & the richness of cow's milk; Bianco Sottobosco, another Piedmontese variety, again mixes milks – this time goat's & cow's, with the addition of local truffles, it's delicious & decadent; we move up into the Alps, to Aosta, for Fontina Alpina, a beautiful, delicately nutty cheese, as good on a cheese board as in recipes; Piacentinu Ennese, from Sicily, stirs things up with the addition of saffron and black peppercorns – again, this is as at home on a board as it is shaved over asparagus or risotto; Gratin Bleu, by the Rosso family, is an unusual blue in that it leans toward sweet and buttery as opposed to spicy and stony. 

 

 

If you have a dinner party or a get-together on the horizon and don't want to forget the cheese board, fill in your future delivery date at checkout and we will remember it for you, stress free.

With each board we carefully select regional red or white pairing wines as additions, as well as gift wrapping and extra cheese. Delivery outside London is always next day at £10; within London we offer same day at £12; and if you're in the neighborhood, select Marylebone W1 In-Store Collection, free of charge, and pick it up at your convenience.