If you’re keen to celebrate the cold weather with an epic Christmas in July celebration, we’ve got your back. We’ve pulled together all the best things to create a Christmas cheese board to celebrate in style (even if it is six months early).
Christmas in July: Your Christmas Cheese Board
Too Much, Too Little or Just the Right Amount
When you’re putting together a Christmas cheese board, the first thing you need to ask yourself is how much cheese to provide per person. Now if you’re really going all out with your Christmas in July fest, you’ll probably have a lot of other food besides the cheese platter. But we still think it’s worth splurging on 100 to 125 grams of cheese per person. This is a celebration after all!
Of course, if the cheese platter is the centrepiece of your Christmas in July feast, then you should allow for a bit more – perhaps 150 to 175 grams of cheese per person.
You should still limit your Christmas cheese board to three or four different cheeses, however. More than that can overwhelm your guests’ palates and diminish their enjoyment of the whole platter (and no one wants that!).
Choosing Your Cheeses
The best cheeseboards include a variety of different cheese styles, textures and flavours to give a well-rounded overall taste sensation. Putting together a blue, soft and hard cheese (like stilton, brie and cheddar) has always been a crowd favourite, but we reckon you have so many other choices to spice up the day, including adding a fourth (stinky) cheese.
Here are some of our favourite combos:
Artisanal Australian Cheeses
- SOFT – Camembert, Milawa Cheese Co. From Victoria, this cheese will rock your cheese platter. A young cheese that takes only weeks to mature, it deserves to be cut before serving to allow it to ooze beautifully across your board. Gorgeous and delicious.
- HARD – Drunken Admiral, Grandvewe. This cheese marries beautifully with the oozy Milawa camembert. And its distinctive wine infusion gives it a sweet, light wine flavour, which seamlessly pairs with its traditional, salty flavours.
- STINKY – Blackall Gold, Woombye Cheese Co. A Queenslander stunner, this washed rind is milder than its French counterparts but no less delicious. It certainly will add a sophisticated element to your Christmas cheese board.
- BLUE – Blue Cow, Nimbin Valley Dairy. The blue is like a little flavour explosion in your mouth, and the perfect end to your cheese board, especially when paired with the sweet notes from the other elements on your board.
Order The Therapy Box.
Cool Climate Inspired
If you really want to embrace the European Christmas winter with your Christmas in July, try some beautiful international cheeses on your cheeseboard.
- SOFT – Le Duc Vacherin. This incredible French cheese is surrounded by a thin strip of hand carved Spruce bark which gives it the ultimate Christmas cheese board vibe – both in look and in taste.
- STINKY – Chablochon, Fruitieres Chabert. This French beauty is quite mild, but with the sophistication that comes from the washed rind. You’ll find buttery, nutty notes and a beautifully creamy texture.
- BLUE – St Agur, Bongrain. A spicy French blue, the St Agur is not as big and punchy as some others, nor as salty, making it the perfect accompaniment to the Vacherin and Chablochon.
Order the Globetrotter Pack.
One Maker, Many Cheeses
One thing we think works beautifully for a Christmas cheese board is to pick one maker with different varieties of cheese to showcase on the big day. And one of our favourites? Apostle Whey near the Five Apostles in Victoria.
- BLUE – Bay of Matyrs. This blue will add something special to your Christmas cheese board. It’s incredibly delicious with a crumbly texture that leaves shards that melt on your tongue. But it’s also stunningly beautiful, with a network of beautiful blue veins that are simply mesmerizing.
- SOFT – Loch Ard Gorgeous. Loch Ard Gorgeous lives up to its name, being a gorgeous Normandy style camembert. It has a velvety exterior and an indulgent, buttery interior which is perfect for an indulgent Christmas in July celebration.
- HARD – Plain Havarti. The highest-scoring semi-hard cheese at the DIAA awards in Melbourne 2014, this Danish-inspired cheese is a very smooth, creamy cheese – tending towards cheddar flavour.
- STINKY – Grotto. This washed rind cheese starts life as a camembert but develops its beautiful orange tone and distinctive, fragrance and flavour by being washed daily in a secret recipe brine. It’s the perfect finish to a well-rounded Christmas cheese board.
Order the Apostle Whey Cheesemaker Pack.
Putting Your Board Together
Once you’ve chosen your cheeses, it’s time to start putting the board together. It has to look beautiful as well as taste incredible to take centre stage at your Christmas in July feast. That means a focus on the food of course, but also the arrangement, and how the colours and textures work together, as well.
Here are our tips.
Leave space to cut the cheese.
An abundant cheese board looks incredible, but you still need to be able to get to the cheese itself. Leave enough space for you and your guests to actually be able to cut the cheese. One thing we do is cut (and eat!) the first wedge before even serving. People are sometimes hesitant to be the first in, and this gives both the space and opportunity for them to dive in and start enjoying the beautiful platter straight away.
Add appropriate accompaniments.
Depending on the cheese that you’re serving, you want to put all the right accompaniments on your platter. We like to include:
- Something crunchy – crackers and/or nuts.
- Something fruity – dried and fresh fruits like figs, apricots, grapes and apples
- Something spreadable – chutneys and pates.
- Something fermented – relish, olives or pickles.
- Something savoury – charcuterie.
- Something sweet – chocolate or honey (or both!).
Read more, What to Put in the Perfect Cheese and Wine Hampers[link].
Order The Grazing Box.
Arranging Your Christmas Cheese Board
Your cheese board is only limited by your imagination and arranging it should be fun. Start with your big-ticket items (that’s your cheese of course) and arrange those across the platter (leaving space to get to each). Then add your meats, crackers and any breads in clusters surrounding the cheese. We like to group items that go well together near each other, but you should feel free to mix it up however you like!
Once you have those items placed, you can fill any spaces with your nuts, olives and fruits (fresh and dried), working in colour and shape to give variety and a sense of indulgence. We also like to use various little bowls of different shapes and heights to separate some items and highlight others.
You want to give a sense of overwhelming delicious abundance that pulls your guests in and then delivers exactly what you promise. That is the perfect Christmas cheese board whether part of your traditional Christmas Day or your extravagant Christmas in July festivities.
Get your Christmas in July cheese board sorted today. We’ve got everything you need for an incredible holiday.