A study by Waitrose reveals how the contents of the nation’s Christmas cheeseboards have evolved over the past decade.
The supermarket chain said that in the past 10 years, Brits’ cheeseboard choices have become more international and arguably more pungent, as a wider variety of cheese from around the globe has become more readily available.
Back in 2006, cheeseboards would typically have been milder in flavour, with Cheddar being favoured alongside something continental such as a French brie or a soft French goat’s cheese.
Fast forward 10 years and the tables have turned, as the nation’s tastes have become more artisanal, with stronger-flavoured options making the cut. Cheese originating from France, Spain and Italy are now the top picks as customers look for new flavours.
A greater assortment of cheese biscuits is now available too, with a wide variety of colours, textures and ingredients such as nigella seeds, beetroot and charcoal.
Cheese accompaniments are also proving more popular. Waitrose now sells a vast selection of quinces, jellies and confits, for example.
Waitrose cheese buyer Chris Dawson commented: “Over the last decade the cheeses we eat and the way in which we enjoy them has evolved. Whilst a classic cheddar remains an all-year-round fridge staple, occasions like Christmas see customers become even more adventurous when it comes to their cheese selection.
“From lesser known countries of origin, to pungent sharing cheeses, Brits have become confident cheese explorers in the last decade.”
Top 10 cheese choices of 2006
1. Keens Farmhouse mature cheddar, British, strength 5
2. Colston Bassett Stilton, British, strength 5
3. Applebys Cheshire, British, strength 3
4. Mrs Kirkhams Lancashire, British, strength 3
5. Reblochon, French, strength 3
6. French mature Brie, French, strength 5
7. Cornish Davidstow cheddar, British, strength 5
8. Wensleydale & Cranberry, British, strength 2
9. Chevre log slice, French, strength 2
10. Applewood smoked cheddar, British, strength 2
Top 10 cheese choices of 2016
1. Badoz Vacherin du Hauts-Doubs, French, strength 6
2. Berthaut Epoisses , French, strength 6
3. Le Cret Gruyere, Swiss, strength 6
4. Goats Milk Gouda, Dutch, strength 6
5. Coeur de Berry, French, strength 3
6. La Retorta, Spanish, strength 6
7. Cropwell Bishop Stilton, British, strength 5
8. Rouzaire Brie de Meaux, French, strength 5
9. Marcel Petite Mountain Comte Top Comte affineur, French, strength 5
10. Cornish Quartz cheddar, British, strength 6