Among the many epicurean delights that Christmas brings, the one to be truly savoured is a cheeseboard filled with delicious artisan cheeses. For this is the time of year to shun the supermarket and head for a proper cheese counter, where you will find superb, handmade traditional cheeses, made with love, care and generations of expertise. Fortnum’s prides itself on finding small, dedicated cheesemakers across the country, who produce superb traditional cheeses by following age-old methods and recipes to make the very best cheese that you can buy. Even something as simple as a slice of Cheddar is a revelation to the tastebuds when it has been properly made on a small scale rather than mass-produced. As a shining example, our Somerset Vintage Reserve Cheddar is a wedge of ripe, creamy Cheddar with just enough salt to give it a tangy, rounded flavour. Made by Barber’s, who are renowned for their starter cultures - the foundation of a superb cheese - it is matured for 24 months and is the peak of Cheddar perfection.
We are also well known for our traditional Stilton, perhaps the one cheese that you must have at Christmas. Ours is made by Cropwell Bishop, using milk produced in the three Stilton counties. Rich, crumbly and blue-veined, it melts on the palate to release a deliciously ripe and pungent flavour that Stilton lovers will adore. It is so good that we package it in beautiful ceramic jars, including our quirky blue, red and white crown jars, so that it can be offered as a gourmet gift. The king of the crop is our Traditional Baby Stilton; made with animal rennet and hand-ladled organic milk, it is the best Stilton you can buy - a cheese beyond compare.
Fortnum's Aged to Perfection Cheese Selection below
We also make Ported Stilton, in which this delicious cheese is infused with Fortnum’s own LBV port; by the time you open the jar, the port has seeped deliciously into every crevice of the cheese. Alongside it sits our Shropshire Blue, made in the Vale of Belvoir and potted with Fortnum’s own 12-year-old single malt whisky to make a creamy cheese with a spirited bite. These traditional pairings of cheese and alcohol are the perfect Christmas indulgence.
While most of our cheeses are British-made, we have made room on the cheeseboard for Vacherin, the traditional Swiss winter cheese that has to be experienced. Made with winter milk and presented in the traditional birch box, it is rich, creamy and wonderfully pungent, and is best eaten after a gentle warming in the oven. Serve with crisp biscuits and a glass of champagne, and your Christmas feast is complete.