How to Spookify your Cheeseboard
Okay so maybe cheese isn’t the first thing you think of at Halloween, but here at cheesegeek I guess we’ll take any occasion to discuss the yellow stuff. One thing I’d imagine we can all agree on, is that a good cheeseboard is always called for, especially if it has a little frightening theme. What better way to celebrate spooky season, than gathering your nearest and dearest, getting on some frightful attire and enjoying a delicious selection of wine, cheese with all the bits and bobs to accompany. Maybe a few sneaky nibbles of sweets from the trick or treat bags afterwards. Let’s admit, we’ve all probably tucked into a fun-sized bar or two at some point.
Narrowing down the cheeses is without a doubt the hardest part. How much blue cheese is too much? Which soft cheese or hard cheese? For us, we want to have a cheeseboard bigger than our kitchens, but given that generally isn’t an option (although the challenge would be humbly accepted) the key to our perfect spooky Halloween cheeseboard is picking the cheeses in season as well as including plenty of versatility to keep everyone happy.
First off we have the most crucial, Garlic Yarg:
This one is 100% necessary for absolutely any Halloween cheeseboard. Why you may ask, to keep away the vampires of course.. Being one of the world’s most feared supernatural creatures, the strong-smelling garlic yarg is bound to scare away these blood-sucking creatures? With a firm texture and unmistakable garlic twang, this cheese will play a double role as well as vampire protection, adding an unmissable flavour and crumbly texture to any cheeseboard.
Cornish Kern: Encased in black wax (spooky), this beaut of a cheese is off the chart with flavour and hard to get your hands on at the moment. It has a fruit twang with salted caramel and toasted hazelnuts coming through. Get it whilst you can.
Sparkenhoe Red Leicester: The vibrant orange/red colour coming from the addition of the natural colouring Annatto to the curds during the production adds to the whole Halloween theme. Apart from colour, this beauty has an incredible depth of flavour – it’s nutty and buttery but with a slight brothy flavour that you wouldn’t find in a mass-produced Red Leicester.
Truffle Bomb: This in-season, 2 year matured truffle bomb adds complete creaminess, with its deep buttery notes. It may be vegetarian, but be careful... With the goblins and ghouls about, it may just be a plot on the board, resulting in a complete catastrophe.
Winslade: Okay, so this bad boy isn’t quite seasonal as it’s made all year round, however, it is British, and quite honestly simply delightful. It is just the most wonderful example of how cheese can be fresh and floral, but rich, creamy and indulgent at the same time. The eeriest thing about this cheese is just how good it is.
Waterloo: Waterloo Station in London was founded in 1848, however, did you know that there are a series of secret arches beneath the station containing multiple derelict offices, bathrooms and bars? Now closed off to the public, it was used during both world war one and two with legend having it that it saw various murders and assignation right beneath one of the busiest UK stations.. You know what that means.. Ghosts lurk through the building, wailing and screaming (this is what we imagine anyway). So away from the history lesson, it’s necessary that the brie-style Waterloo is added to a chilling autumnal cheeseboard. It’s not super heavy but touches on the classic Brie vibes of damp leaves and mushrooms with a salty kicker. It also has a lovely deep yellow colour, which really does give a hint as to how buttery the cheese is.
Harrogate Blue: This strong-tasting beautiful Blue, truly adds some wonderful autumnal colour, keeping to the spooky, Halloween theme. Matured for a minimum of 10 weeks, it has all the time it needs to develop those creamy, moist, rich flavours that balance the sharp spiciness of the blue veining so craftily.
Stichelton: Okay, so our reason for this choice isn’t quite as terrifying as some of the others, but around this time of year Stichelton can be said to have notes of sweet toffee apple. With autumn being the most popular orchard-yielding period, there’s no doubt as to why these sweet treats are so popular around this time of year. The rusty coloured rind of this blue beauty also has a slightly spicy tang and a firm texture which is broken by the blue-green mould veins that run throughout. The flavour is nutty, a little sweet, and slightly toasted, with a creamy finish.
It’s important not to be too ghostly with your condiment accompaniments, that’d be a bloody disaster.. Which ones are totally up to you, but there are some suggestion that are a go-to for us here at cheesegeek.
A red onion and port marmalade goes wonderfully with blues, cheddars and soft cheeses, but to name a few. Add some fine crackers to enjoy with the creepy, spooky cheese and you’re bone crackling crunching. Lastly, a selection of wines truly adds to the experience, with both whites and reds going eloquently with all kinds of cheeses. Check out our wine blog... If you dare.