Sunday 8 January 2012

You know I like cheese...

OK, so if you like cheese, you need biscuits! What are your favourite biscuits for eating with cheese? Not the dreadfully boring Cream Crackers, I hope! I actually like Digestives (or maybe Hobnobs...) best, because their sweetness contrasts nicely with the flavours of most cheeses - especially the hard English ones, like Cheddar, Red Leicester and Double Gloucester. But at Christmas-time we normally buy a few rather more different biscuits, just to "ring the changes" as they say...

The first recommendation I have for you is the Peter's Yard artisan Swedish crispbreads. They come in two different sizes - a "biscuit" size, and a "crispbread" size, i.e. much bigger.

Biscuit size

Crispbread size

We discovered these purely by accident whilst on holiday in Herefordshire in August. We had bought some of the wonderful cheeses from the Monkland cheese factory, and we just picked up in a nearby shop some biscuit-type things that looked nice. We were very pleased with our choice, because these crispbreads go perfectly with a creamy Blue cheese, such as Blue Monk, Dolcelatte or St.Agur.

My next offering is the Original Oaten Biscuits from Duchy Originals.

These really traditional-style biscuits made from wheat and oats are great with the harder cheeses, but also are firm enough for you to spread them with a dollop of cream cheese topped with Chilli jam (or maybe Cranberry sauce for the faint-hearted).

For something a bit more unusual, why not try these Smoked Cheese Biscuits from Artisan Biscuits' Grate Britain range? [Now there's a cheesy name if ever there was one!]

Nice on their own as a "nibble", but also good with a sweet chutney. If I knew where I could get hold of some Dorset Red cheese, I'd probably buy some too! The smoky taste of these biscuits makes them less versatile than some others, but in the right circumstances (e.g. when serving smoked cheese) they are lovely.

In our household, good cheese is often accompanied by good wine, so I want to end this post with a wine recommendation. If you are eating your cheese at the end of a special meal, it is nice to serve with it a dessert wine of some sort (we call them "Stickies"). One of our favourites is Monbazillac, a beautiful honey-coloured wine from South-West France, made with lots of the perfumey Muscadelle grape. As Stickies go, this one is not over-sweet, and in my opinion is a perfect accompaniment to the softer cheeses, such as Camembert and Brie, or my real favourite Brillat-Savarin.

Do you like that photo, with the air-bubble in the bottle acting like a spirit-level? (You don't know how long it took me to persuade the bottle to lie still, with the label uppermost... I did say "stand still and say CHEESE", but it wouldn't listen. Next time I'll use some Blu-Tack).

P.S. You may have noticed that during the Winter months my blog contains more about Food and Drink than about gardening. This is not because I have lost interest in gardening (certainly NOT!); it's simply that there is less to write about in the garden at this time of year, so my interest has been more kitchen-orientated.
I have discovered a lot of really great Foodie blogs, and I want to mention one of them today. It is Belleau Kitchen, hosted from the depths of rural Lincolnshire by the reliably-amusing Dominic. Looking back through the archives of Dom's Blog I saw this post, which I think will appeal to many of my readers too - it's all about soup, which is a favourite topic for discussion on many of the blogs I read, and includes a host of links to other Foodie blogs. Please do take a look.

P.P.S  If you like biscuits and you have some scientific knowledge, you'll enjoy this Periodic Table of Biscuits from Epicurean's Answer!


  1. Cheese. Mmmmm! It all looks so GOOD!

  2. Well, I like cheese but I don't have them with biscuits or crackers unless it is on someone's snack tray. We usually eat cheese in recipes like quiche and casseroles,macaroni and cheese, or on pizza. Sliced cheese on sandwiches. If we get an especially good block cheese we often just cut off pieces and eat it the way it is.

  3. I love cheese too but I couldn't eat it with sweet biscuits. I haven't tried the biscuits you mention but I do like things such as tucs or ritz which are salty, I think they go really well with cheese. I love a hunk of cheese just to nibble on in my hands though too, naughty but nice.

  4. Cheese is obviously a popular subject-area (even in the USA, I see (Becky!) Maybe some of you should write a post about your local cheese(s) and they way you eat it / them...?
    If you are interested in our local cheese, search on my blog for the word "Tunworth".

  5. well aren't you lovely... thanks for the link up!... I am a cheese fiend!... can't get enough of the stuff and I am firm believer in a sweet cracker just like you... the sharper the cheese the sweeter the cracker... I even like honey with my cheese!... delicious x

  6. Hobnobs and cheese? Sounds like a pregnancy know like gherkins and peanut-butter? ;) I'm fairly conventional when it comes to eating cheese but am a big fan of having it with Ritz crackers (an American brand). My mother sent me some for Christmas and they were gobbled up within a day or so.

  7. Dom; cheese with honey is very traditional in some parts of the world - e.g. Greece and Turkey, where honey often accompanies sharp-tasting Feta cheese - and ripe figs. Had this for breakfast a couple of times on our holiday in Turkey last year.

  8. I adore all cheeses, especially with sweet digestive biscuits, sliced grapes and a glass of red wine!

  9. I have to admit to being a water cracker girl(boring I know), as long as I have some chilli jam or bread & butter cucumbers to go with it. You may have guessed from that that my preference is for cheddar. Having said that I want to eat Feta, honey & ripe figs right now - that sound sublime.

  10. I don't tend to eat cheese just as cheese - if you know what I mean - but must admit I do like cream crackers even though they are boring. Although I can't remember when I last had any.

  11. Funny, I had a bit of smoked cheddar for breakfast on dark bread. Not a sweet biscuit but good nonetheless. I adore a Shropshire Blue from Neal's Yard.

  12. Ah cheese! And Monbazillac. Friends of ours have done up a barn very close to the chateau, we have had some lovely trips and testing sessions in that area. So many wonderful wines produced in such a small region, must be time to sort out another trip for this year!

  13. of my favorite food groups! And you have such interesting biscuits/crackers/cookies in Great Britain! I'm glad you included links to the various biscuit websites. May just order some of those smoked cheese biscuits for my next dinner party.

  14. Well, I like all kinds and types of cheese available and eat them with great pleasure. Cooked or fresh - it doesn't matter.

  15. Ah I have to stick up for the humble Jacobs cream cracker as it's my favourite with Hawes Wensleydale and Colman's English mustard (odd combo but I love it). Monbazillac now you're talking, we picked up some when we visited the Dordoyne a few years ago and are still slowly working our way through the stash. Christmas Day saw a nice 2000 vintage - not sure if 11yrs old is vintage - polished off, lovely stuff!


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