If you’re a fellow cheese fan I hope you’ll forgive me blowing my own trumpet and pointing you to my latest book Fiona Beckett’s Cheese Course. Actually I don’t feel too bad about it because at least half its appeal is its quite gorgeous photography (by Richard Jung) and I can’t claim credit for that!
The idea behind the book was to help people how to get the best out of cheese - suggesting new ideas for cheese boards, cheese plates and pairings with different kinds of drinks. It’s been my view for a while that the conventional cheeseboard with its five or six types of cheese is dated, particularly when good cheese is the price it is now and I’m sure many people don’t get through all the cheese they buy.
There are ideas for cheeseboards based on different countries, differents times of year, different animals (all goat and sheeps’ cheeses for those who find cows’ cheeses hard to digest) and for wine and cheese ‘flights’. There are suggestions for seasonal cheese plates, for festive occasions and for different times of day and some fun new ideas for cheese and wine parties.
There are suggested matches for different cheeses including, beer, cider and whisky as well as wine including tips on how to pair red wine with cheese (always a bit of a challenge).
And there are some delicious (though I say so myself) recipes for cheese including an Extra Crispy Macaroni Cheese (you’ll have to buy the book to find out the secret!), a yummy Cheddar and Cider Fondue as well as sweet dishes such as Raspberry and Ricotta Hotcakes and Lavender, Honey and Vanilla Cheesecake and breads such as Taleggio and Grape Focaccia.
The designer, Steve Painter, a fellow cheese nut - or curd nerd as they call us these days - reckons it’s the best book he’s ever done and it really does look breathtakingly beautiful.
Perfect for Christmas presents if you’re thinking that far ahead ;-)