The Good Housekeeping Institute has issued a stark warning over the way that we present our cheeseboards. Does yours match up?
Aah, the cheeseboard. This stalwart of the Christmas table is not without its contentious side.
Loved ones engage in quietly ferocious tussles over who gets first dibs on that juicy slice of Comté.
Your entire family bemoans the unknown aggressor who manages to get smatterings of chutney everywhere.
And an apparently limitless vat of oozing Vacherin ensures you’ll be going to sleep on a stomach that’s groaning from fromage overload, five straight nights in a row.
But perhaps the most divisive element of this most sacred culinary tradition is not the board itself but rather, how it’s presented.
For a new fleet of cheeseboard gurus are concerned about the way we routinely cut our offerings, the Telegraph reports.
The paper quotes new guidance from the Good Housekeeping Institute, which has issued a stark warning over our lack of finesse in such matters.
“An oozing brie, veiny blue and tangy cheddar cheeseboard is the perfect way to round off a festive feast,” the fromage guide states. “But rather than cutting into the cheese at any angle, there’s a trick to getting the best from your cheese.
“This includes where to plunge the knife in the first place to the shape of the chunk itself as the nations gorges on Gorgonzola and other varieties in the lull between Christmas and New Year.”
(Guilty as charged).
So, having been enlightened to the notion of a superior kind of cut - what’s the best way of doing it, per different kinds of cheese?
Hard cheeses should be formed into neat cubes, apparently, of a dimension that’s petite enough to be skewered on a cocktail stick.
Gooey varieties, on the other hand, should be sliced diagonally from the centre out.
For cheeses such as Brie and Camembert, meanwhile, you need to cut into quarters, then half - and even half again, if the size permits it. That way, each slice captures some of the potent flavour at the centre of the cheese.
So, there you have it. Go forth and wield your newfound cheesy knowledge…