Although I eat a lot of cheese throughout the year and often have a little cheese board at the weekend, something about Christmas and a Christmas cheese board makes me very giddy.
When the Christmas decorations start to appear and the adverts start slowly creeping onto the tv, I don’t think about presents, turkey or mulled wine, I think cheese.
With so many exciting local cheese makers popping up I headed straight to the only place to get your cheese, Porter Brook Deli, to talk to Nikki about the ultimate local cheese board.
Nikki and Nick are so incredibly knowledgeable about cheese that you cannot leave this shop without tasting something that blows your mind…more of that later.
Nikki and I decided that our local cheese board would incorporate the whole of Yorkshire, a bit of Derbyshire and one wild card cheese, a dessert island cheese if you will.
First up is a beautiful cheese in the shape of a milestone. Stanage Milestone is made at Cow Close Farm, Hathersage, by Sophie and James. With similarities to camembert, this cheese’s unusual shape makes it a great centre piece to your board.
Next up needs a bit of prep as we think Sheffield’s Little Mester Cheese, made by another Sophie in Kelham Island Sheffield, would be perfect baked and ready to be dipped.
A cheese board would not be complete without a stilton and we are very lucky to have the original Hartington Stilton right on our doorstep. Brought back into existence by a group of dedicated cheese lovers, this is an old time favourite. Mix it up by serving with some truffle honey from the Sheffield Beekeepers association.
It’s not quite a cheddar but it has the qualities of one. Dale End is produced in Botton near Whitby. The product supports adults with educational needs by helping them work on all aspects of the farm. With 48 cows in the herd, grazing on organic grass, this cheese is all about the quality of the milk it is made from.
Love it, or hate it a goats cheese should have a place on a cheese board. Its tangy flavour goes perfectly with a charcoal cracker. Hebden Bridge goats cheese is produced from just 8 goats. Porter Brook Deli is one of the few suppliers of this very special cheese.
Richard III Wensleydale is a very popular cheese at Christmas. This handmade cheese is younger than your usual Wensleydale and has a lovely fresh flavour.
Now you might not consider a sheep’s cheese for your board, but you should! Mario Olianas is using sheep’s milk from Harrogate to produce fabulous pecorino cheese. The Fresco is just 30 days old and has that lovely young flavour that only pecorino has, and the Leeds Blue is a rich and creamy adaptation of gorgonzola.
So, we come onto the wildcard. The mind-blowing cheese. When I asked Nikki which she would choose she didn’t hesitate, and when I tasted this cheese I couldn’t agree more! Kirkham Lancashire MUST have a place on your cheese board, or just in your fridge all the time. This yogurt, lemony, fresh cheese will blow your mind with its deliciousness. Not exactly a local cheese, but we will let it off!