A First Look At Christmas

The Cheese Shed's Christmas page for 2018 is now up on the site, and you might like to take a look! We have a particular way of approaching Christmas based around the creation of a group of special gift boxes and hampers. If you're an existing customer of ours you'll be familar with the idea; if not, here's a quick guide.

Christmas Threes, Fours and Fives

These are gift boxes containing three, four or five cheeses - mainly whole cheeses, but some are cut wedges. What we try to do is give you a complete, well-balanced cheeseboard in a box. Nothing is duplicated, they always involve a lovely set of contrasts in terms of taste, texture, colour etc. Starting with the Christmas Three, this is your essential trio of hard, soft (brie) and blue cheeses, about a kilo in all. The Christmas Four adds a contrasting hard cheese, whilst the Christmas Five has all four of those plus a contrasting, non-brie, soft.

So: if you want to send a Christmas gift box that's just cheese, we'd suggest looking at one of these.

The Hampers: Trio, Quartet, Quintet and Ensemble

These hampers are based on the gift boxes just described, but each one adds a carefully thought-out set of accompaniments - lovely things to go with the cheese - so there are biscuits, chutneys, preserves and of course wine in each. And each one is packed in a wicker hamper. Hampers start with the Christmas Trio (three cheeses) for £64.99, then move on through the Christmas Quartet and Christmas Quintet all the way up to our top-of-the-range hamper and bona fide feast, the Christmas Ensemble.

What Cheeses Do We Use?

We use a few different ones. For the hard cheese, Devon Oke or Ford Farm Cave-Aged Cheddar, the blue will be Cornish Blue or Devon Blue, and the brie Sharpham or Bath Soft.

So why don't we make our minds up and just use one cheese in each category? Make it definite? There are a couple of reasons: small dairies might struggle to produce everything we'd need and also, doing it this way spreads the benefit of Christmas to more makers. But rest assured that which every cheese you get, the overall balance of the box is maintained and it's just as good either way.

We use a couple of different cheeses for each of the other 'cheese types', too. The contrasting hard cheese (used in the Four or Five) is either Miss Muffet or Sharpham Rustic; the second soft cheese (used in the Five) is Helford White or Pepperdon.