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Chris Hallam, manager at Chorlton Cheesemongers
I’d always start with Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire and at the moment their Ruby Lancs is spot on. Tangy, buttery and bolstered by a bit of age, the one on our counter at the moment is from September 2022, so a bit more aged than a traditional Lancashire.
I’m also a sucker for Duckett’s Caerphilly, I love the earthy, ‘cellarish’ taste and the almost crunchy rind. For a soft cheese, very little can beat the smooth, richness of the Finn from Neal’s Yard Creamery, there is an initial simplicity to it (along with a luxuriance from the double cream) then the flavours develop in the mouth and you’re hit by an intense mushroomy taste. The citrusy, mousseyness of a Sinodun Hill makes it my go-to goat as it works so brilliantly alongside sweet and savoury accompaniments. And to round it off, the simplicity and sweetness of a Beenleigh Blue is hard to top. Looking at this, I realise I must be yearning for summer as this is a very light summery board.
Simon Warren, owner of The East Street Deli
It’s the ultimate question to ask someone that spends their day talking about, tasting and selling cheese and my choices change on an almost daily basis, but I don’t think you’d go wrong with the following: a good old Cheddar such as Westcombe would be a solid start as would a rich and creamy Isle of Wight Blue. We love the English Pecorino from Whitelake Cheeses, and I think I’d be looking for a local cheese like Old Winchester. For a soft I’d go for the decadent French Delice de Bourgogne.
Jordan Thomson, Love Cheese
My dream cheeseboard would definitely start with either Delice de Bourgogne or Pexommier (Yorkshires take at Colloumier). Next I would have something crumbly, my personal favourite is Swaledale Traditional – the younger the batch the better. Then Cerney Ash for an alternative milk cheese, followed by Doddington cheese. For Doddington we always ask for the oldest batch possible, it makes a world of difference to the flavour. And Hebridean Blue to finish off. It is lovely and salty but also had the most stunning blue veins running through it.
Stephen Barney, owner of The Cheesery
This will probably change on a weekly basis depending on my mood and the seasons but for now I’d go with St Jude, a beautiful little St Marcellin style cheese made in Suffolk, Blackmount, an ashed goat’s milk cheese from the Erringtons in Lanarkshire - light and moussy - perfect for this time of year, a good aged Appenzeller is one of my all-time favourites, strong, spicy and intense and for a blue to round things off I’d go with Fleet Valley Blue made at the Ethical Dairy in the borders, good strength with an almost Cheddar-like consistency to balance the textures.