By Tim Quiney, Deputy Food Editor
The Croft Magazine // Learn how to construct the perfect cheeseboard with Tim's tasty tips.
I like to think that most students will be having some version of a Christmas dinner as a flat/house before the end of term, and I truly hope all the planning, tin foil, oven trays and dirty plates are worth it.
I recently read an article about a new foodie trend, the savoury sister of a gingerbread house – the charcuterie chalet (a.k.a. an elaborate cheeseboard). If you don’t want the hassle of roasting a bird/alternative and all the trimmings, I recommend splashing out a bit by creating your own cheeseboard.
It is way less prep and clean up than a full-on meal, so you can do multiple cheeseboard nights or just it for when you want to have some nice snacks. Christmas means you can completely overindulge and not feel guilty about it because after all…it’s Christmas. So, choose your most handsome chopping board and load it up.
For the cheeses, try and get a range of some harder cheeses (like smoked Cheddar, Gouda, Manchego or Wensleydale) and some softer ones (goats cheese or Brie for example). One of my favourites is Ossau-Iraty, if you want to try something new. You don’t have to get the really expensive ones – I actually love the cheapest cream cheese on the side. Get whatever suits your budget!
You’re going to need some kind of crunch for the cheeses to go on – crackers, they are usually cheap so maybe get a selection, or even just toasted nice bread.
If you want to add charcuterie meats – there are good selections in most supermarkets or if you’re going really fancy, go to the nice delis in Clifton or on Whiteladies Road. Keep it veggie if you like or perhaps try some surprisingly nice vegan deli meats!
Something sweet on the side goes great too – grapes, berries, fruit, chutney or honey (maybe even cranberry sauce for extra Christmas feels!). There’s a lot of scope here, so just buy what you like!
Finally, a pickle or something briny like olives is great on the side also, to cut through all that rich cheese.
Personalise your cheeseboard to your housemates’ tastes, all chip in for a different cheese (and maybe a bottle of wine?) and have fun with it! I’m not saying you need to take your board to the ‘charcuterie chalet’ level of extreme, but hey if you want – it is Christmas after all!
Featured Image: Epigram / Orin Carlin
Check out The Croft over on Instagram!