The wide variety of farmhouse cheese available means that there is one to suit every palate.
Here are a couple of points to consider when making the selection for your cheese board, courtesy of Bord Bia:
Avoid too much choice. It is better to have a couple of good size pieces of cheese than a lot of smaller bits. It looks better and the cheese will keep better. Try to limit your selection to no more than five different cheeses.
Select your cheeses so that you have different sizes, shapes, flavours and textures. For example, you could have a mix of soft, blue, hard, and washed-rind.
Ensure you include cheeses made from goats and ewes milk as well as cows.
If possible, try each cheese before you buy it.
A good rule of thumb is approximately 100g of cheese per person.
Place your cheeses in order of strength on the board. Try not to have strong pungent cheeses beside delicately flavoured cheeses.
Leave the cheese at room temperature for approximately two to three hours before serving. Bringing cheese to room temperature ensures you get fuller flavours.
Serving your cheese
Remember to allow cheeses come to room temperature before serving.
In terms of presentation, try serving cheeses on slate, marble, wooden board, or straw mat.
Serve with bread or cheese crackers, leaving room beside each cheese for your guests to slice. Apples, pears or grapes make a nice addition along with honey, jellies, chutney or quince.
A cheese boards is a great centre piece and talking point. Remember to keep the wrappers so you can read up on your cheese before your guests arrive.
For more information visit www.Discoverfarmhousecheese.ie