The BIG Wedding Question: Cheese Cake or Cheese Table?
The Cheese Shed got under way in Spring 2006, and it wasn’t long before we were asked to do a cheese wedding cake. To be quite honest we were probably only dimly aware of them at that point, and I do remember the challenges involved in trying to get our heads around the idea, and how to make it work.
As I recall the very first ever cheese cake we did suffered from my having confused the different sizes of Yarg and Wild Garlic Yarg … another time I drove all the way to Somerset to pick up one single cheese that was needed … and soon we had a confusing and ever-expanding list of the cheese dimensions that were necessary in order to work out to work out how to meet the requirements of our customers. And as we went along, we gradually started to work out how, exactly, you might create a stack of cheese that a) offered a nice contrasting selection of cheeses, b) looked good, and c) worked for a chosen number of people. Tricky? Yes, it can be!
Cheese Wedding Cakes Today
Twelve years later, things have come a long way. For one thing, James and I know all the cheese sizes by heart (in fact, we probably dream cheese sizes), and we send out many hundreds of cheese cakes per year - to every part of the country. Also, we now have a great selection of off-the-peg cakes, to suit gatherings from 40 upward. For a lot of people, they’ll find one of these does the job. But if you want to create something more bespoke and individual, there’s our fantastic Cakebuilder: the unique (yes - it still hasn’t been replicated by any other cheese company) tool that enables you to build your own cheese cake onscreen.
And if you’re stuck, if you can’t choose, or if you want something you can’t quite see on the website, get in touch by emailing, or calling us to talk it through. We can very readily come up with a suggestion - no obligation of course, but sometimes it helps if we do that.
And this is the new thing. Indeed, it could be The Next Big Thing in wedding cheese! Let’s suppose you want a beautiful selection of top quality hand-made cheeses, but you know you don’t want a cheese wedding cake. You want a stunning set of fab cheeses that will taste great but also make an impact visually. It needs to suit a particular size of gathering … and rather than just taking pot luck with our 120 cheeses, you’d like some professional help to get it right.
With that in mind, we’ve created our first two cheese tables. Either one will tick all the boxes above, making it dead easy to organise a cheese table for a wedding or any other big event. Each of ours has its own character. Tradition+ is based around a core of popular favourites: because you can’t go wrong with Quicke’s Cheddar, Cornish Blue, Cornish Brie and Yarg. To those we add a sprinkling of different little soft cheeses just to stop it getting too predictable! Available for 50, 75 or 100 people.
Then there’s the Showstopper. This features more cheeses (13) and more variety, in terms of different types - some you’ll know, some you won’t - but they’ve all been hand-picked by us, with each one bringing something different to the party. The visual impression made by all these different shapes and colours is stunning too. Showstopper is available in three versions, to feed 80, 100 or 120.
To sum up, we’re confident there will still be weddings in 2019. We also think most of them will feature cheese. And if you’re involved in one, or have been tasked with finding the cheese for one, we’d be happy to help!
So: Cheese Wedding Cake or Cheese Table?
There are probably two big things to consider. One is to think about how much variety - and choice for your guests - matters. Cheese cakes tend to have less variety, and often provide a large amount of whatever's at the bottom, and only a small amount of what's at the top! So you get lopsided quantities of cheese (and how many people will really get any of that gorgeous but tiny goats' cheese on top?) whereas the cheese table is much more able to provide rational amounts of each one. If you'd like the maximum number of people to be able to try each cheese, you might want to consider a cheese table.
The other issue is visual appeal. Now there's no doubting the fun and drama of a beautiful tower of cheese, and the way in which a decorated cheese cake can provide a stunning visual centrepiece via its height and shape. But: the cheese table can be gorgeous too ... and here the joy is in the wonderful range of different colours, shapes and textures that you can achieve, if you choose carefully. A veritable feast for the eyes. So here it's really down to whether you to want to draw the eye to one focal point (cheese cake) or dazzle your guests with a great spread of cheese? The choice is yours.
Top, left to right: Burgh Island, Dartington, St Agnes.
Bottom left to right: Tradition+, Wheel Of Four-tune and Showstopper.