“ACCORDING TO THE OLD WIVES’ tale, cheese too close to bedtime causes nightmares. But asking fromage fanciers about this collaboration between man and beast turns them into beautiful dreamers.
They have no hesitation in declaring what constitutes the perfect cheeseboard. Of the experts we spoke to, few cheeses appeared on two wish-lists. It might be tempting to conclude that the ultimate cheeseboard would comprise a nibble from all of them. This would be a mistake, because the one thing they all agree on is that the combination of cheeses in any one presentation must be a study of complementary flavours and textures if the cheeseboard is to paint a Monet rather than a muddy still life.
Chef Philippa Sibley with Pyengana cheddar.
Chef Philippa Sibley with Pyengana cheddar. Photo: Eddie Jim
A veiny wedge, a crumbly brick, a furry white rind … such visions transport cheese lovers to cellars on French mountain tops filled with ageing wheels of every shade of yellow, blue, white or cream. They see cows chewing flowers in springtime meadows, or a grandmother tending her milking goats in Burgundy.
Determined opinions exist about accompaniments. Crackers, apparently, are out. Quince paste is divisive. Cherries, apricot paste and beer are touted for their cheese-enhancing qualities.
Here, then, are the cheeseboards of which dreams are made.”
Read all their recommendations via The ultimate cheeseboard.