What Cheese for Christmas?

What Cheese for Christmas?
What cheese for Christmas

What Cheese for Christmas?

Choosing the right cheese for Christmas really comes down to your personal tastes and the type of occasion you're planning. However, there are some classic Christmas cheeses, typically with deeper flavours to suit the winter season, and made to time-honoured recipes for an extra level of luxury and quality. 

If you’re wondering ‘what cheese for Christmas’ then this guide puts you in the know about the best cheeses for this special time of year. You’ll find out exactly which Christmas cheese is best to serve to guests or to enjoy on quieter, cosy nights at home.

What is Christmas cheese?

In the UK, the two classic cheeses of Christmas are Cheddar and Stilton. A glass of port and a piece of Stilton are synonymous with the season, while a beautifully aged Cheddar often claims the centrepiece of Christmas cheeseboards and party tables.

Why are these two cheeses so popular at Christmas? Part of the appeal is not just the rich, savoury taste and depth of flavour of Cheddar and Stilton, but also their provenance. Christmas is a time for leaning into traditions and going back to our roots. These two cheeses represent the best of British cheesemaking traditions, and we'll take a look at why.

What cheese for Christmas: Cheddar 

Cheddar cheese originated in the English village of Cheddar in the 12th Century. It was traditionally made from local cow's milk, with a unique ageing process in the region's caves. Over time, the cheese-making method spread worldwide, and today, Cheddar cheese is produced globally.

At Cheshire Cheese Company, our signature cheese is Black Bob extra mature Cheddar, lovingly aged to perfection. Black Bob is crafted with care and expertise for a truly exceptional taste experience – a smooth and creamy texture, complemented by a slight tang. Black Bob is hugely popular at Christmas, and we sell it in 200g truckles and larger 2kg truckles for festive gatherings (with 2024 best-before dates on all pre-orders).

We also have a Vintage Cheddar, which is meticulously aged by our master cheese-makers to achieve a rich and robust flavour with a slight crunch. We even layer flavours onto Cheddar cheese to produce distinctive, flavoursome cheese truckles that match the season. Here are some of our popular infusions that chime nicely with the tastes and mood of the winter months: 

  • Old Hag - Aged Cheddar with ale and wholegrain mustard
  • Shamrock - Irish Whiskey and stem ginger
  • Charcoal - Mature cheddar blended with activated charcoal
  • Hunter - Mature Cheddar blended with truffle and cracked black pepper.

What cheese for Christmas: Stilton

Stilton cheese is an iconic British blue cheese that originated in the early 18th Century in the English village of Stilton. The unique combination of cow's milk, Penicillium roqueforti mould, and ageing in the Stilton area's ideal conditions resulted in this renowned cheese. Now a protected cheese, Stilton can only be made in the counties of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire, and its peak selling time is Christmas.

Stilton cheese boasts a rich, creamy texture with a bold, tangy flavour and distinctive blue veins, offering a savoury and pungent taste. It’s perfect for those who enjoy stronger cheeses. It pairs well with walnuts and honey, as well as port and sweeter wines or robust wines.

At Cheshire Cheese Company, our Stilton is the Hartington Blue Stilton cheese, a gold winner at the International Cheese Awards and Best Artisan Cheese at the Global Cheese Awards 2018. It’s produced by our friends at Hartington Creamery 'The smallest Stilton producer in the world', who make the creamiest, tangiest and best artisan-made Stilton cheese.

Christmas Speciality Cheeses - a popular choice

Another kind of Christmas cheese that’s popular at parties and in homes at this time of year is cheese flavoured with distinctive flavours of Christmas. New for 2023 we have two exclusive specialty Christmas cheeses which are already delighting our customers far and wide.

Cranberry and Cheshire Christmas cheese

Cranberries have long been a part of American Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions, but before they worked their way into our owA world exclusive from the Cheshire Cheese Company is our new Cranberry cheese truckle, a satisfying combination of sweet, crumbly Cheshire cheese bursting with the delightful flavours of real cranberry pieces. A classic in the making, the iconic taste of cranberry makes it a must-have for Christmas cheese boards. The distinctive red-coloured wax covering adds an extra festive feeling to your Christmas table too.

Clementine and Cheshire cheese

n celebrations, clementines were the UK’s Christmas fruit of choice. Our Clementine Christmas cheese combines the flavours of clementine with winter fruits and the refined taste of Cognac. Enjoy Clementine cheese on its own to appreciate the rich and fruity wintery flavours, with crackers, or as part of a larger Christmas spread.

Please note we have limited availability of our festive specials Cranberry and Clementine. All pre-orders of Christmas cheese have 2024 best before dates.

Locally made Cheshire cheese at Christmas

Last but certainly not least in our list of Christmas cheeses is the Cheshire cheese that we are rightly famed for. We pride ourselves on our flagship traditional Cheshire cheese, celebrated for its smooth, creamy texture with a distinctive Cheshire tang. 

This is a softer, milder cheese, made using the traditional Cheshire cheesemaking process, and it’s been refined over generations at Laurel’s Farm. Cheshire is ideal for pairing with Christmas cake, a popular Yorkshire tradition. Cheshire’s smooth, creamy taste means it compliments the intense flavours of Stilton or aged Cheddar on a cheeseboard or in a cheese course. Our Cheshire cheese is a Gold Award winner at the International Food and Dairy Awards 2023.

Artisan blue cheese for Christmas

While Stilton is the best-known blue cheese that’s popular at Christmas, other blue cheeses like Roquefort come into their own during this season too, and combine beautifully with honey and pears. We offer Hartington Dovedale Blue Cheese, made by our friends at Hartington Creamery, which is both softer and less dense than Stilton with a wonderful blue tangy taste. 

Our Royal Blue Artisan cheese is another soft blue-veined cheese, hand-made in small batches using traditional methods of manufacture and ageing. It’s an International Cheese Award Bronze Winner 2019. Please note Blue Cheese may come in and out of stock more often than our cheese truckles as they’re made in small batches, and they also have shorter best-before dates. You’ll find more information about delivery and best before dates on our FAQs page. If you have any questions please contact us.

Other popular cheeses for Christmas

If you’re planning a Christmas gathering, the cheeses we’ve described above make excellent stars of the show, whether in a Christmas cheese board, a cheese course of a Christmas meal, or as a savoury snack when you’re taking time out from festivities. Here are some other cheeses that work well during the Christmas season:

  • Soft cheeses: Brie is creamy and mild, and Camembert is an excellent soft cheese option that is similar to Brie but with a slightly stronger flavour. Baked Camembert is swiftly becoming a winter favourite. Goat’s cheese, also known as chèvre, has a tangy and earthy flavour; it's excellent when combined with herbs, honey or dried fruits.

  • Hard cheeses: In addition to Cheddar at Christmas, Spanish Manchego cheese has a nutty flavour and pairs nicely with quince paste or Marcona almonds. Gouda is a mild and creamy cheese that comes in various styles, including young and aged varieties. It's versatile and goes well with crackers, fruits, and even charcuterie.

  • Cheeses for melting: Raclette is a semi-soft Swiss cheese that's often melted and scraped onto potatoes, making it a fun option for a Christmas gathering. If you're planning a fondue party, you'll want to choose a blend of cheeses that melt well, like Gruyère and Emmental.

Don’t forget your accompaniments

As wonderful as cheese is, don’t forget accompaniments like crackers that make pieces of cheese easier to eat. Chutneys, jams and pickles will pack an extra flavour punch. On the Accompaniments section of our website, you’ll find the best crackers for our cheeses as well as tasty top-ups like Caramelised Red Onion Chutney, Gourmet Red Chili Jam and Fig and Plum Chutney.

Our Christmas hampers and gifts combine exactly the right accompaniments with popular and exciting cheeses, and many include the best wines to complete the experience. You’ll find all the cheeses you need for Christmas on our website, along with details about delivery and best-before dates. Why not join our Cheese Club, for a 10% discount on orders, a members’ newsletter, plus reward points and more. It’s free to join - find out more below.

Join our Cheese Club and get discounts on online Christmas cheese purchases.