Eating on Christmas day is a serious business, and should be approached with an attitude to match. As with any great feat or accomplishment, the wise among us know to take preparatory measures. Eat only a light breakfast. Wear your loosest fitting clothing. Drink something sparkling (the bubbles expand the stomach). Take a morning walk if weather, schedule and inclination allows it. And never, under any circumstances, have ‘just one more’ of anything. You don’t want to peak too soon. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
Even after taking all necessary due diligence, there may be a moment on Christmas day when your limit is reached. You couldn’t possibly take another bite. Your thoughts begin to turn to the equally serious business of turning your post-banquet reverie into a deeply satisfying afternoon nap.
What do you do then, if the cheese course suddenly makes its appearance? Presented with an array of dazzling December cheeses, can you possibly find any more room? Will you settle for just one or two, and risk missing out on those choice cheeses you couldn’t manage? Do you opt for the classics or try something different? Do you stick with British, or try something European?
Of course another option is to wait until you can give the cheese course your full attention, and hope that there is enough cheese left later. But what if there isn’t? Gosh what a terrifying thought.
Fortunately, experience leads to empathy… as we have gone through this ourselves, we know how to ensure that our friends and family do not. When faced with an almost infinite array of possibilities, but a decidedly finite amount of room, the key is to make a strategic selection beforehand. This is the secret that will leave your friends and family delighted and happy, and banish the dreaded FOMO for another year.
We have found there are seven types of people, and so we have made suggestions on what to get each type of person to ensure their December is a memorable one.
They know what they like, and they appreciate a classic done well. Christmas is the time for Stilton and Port, Strong Cheddar and cider, and a full-flavoured Brie with a fruity white wine to wash it down. These three kings of Christmas will tick all the right boxes.
This person is someone who appreciates the classics, but wants to take a walk on the wild side this festive season. There are only so many Christmases, what if there was a whole new world of flavour to discover? What about a Swedish cheese? An Italian mixed-milk? A newly made, undiscovered secret? This person will appreciate the different and the unusual.
Be they a lover of French, British, Italian or Spanish cuisine, this person will appreciate a selection consisting entirely of cheese and fine food from one particular region. And who could blame them?
THE TROPHY HUNTER
On today of all days, only the best will do. This person will accept only the finest of fare, cheeses that have been crowned champions and whose quality can leave others in the shade.
THE MASTER OF CEREMONIES
This person knows that you first eat with your eyes, and so they want their cheese to dazzle on the plate, before it dances on the palate.
THE CONSIDERED NIBBLER
There may be important considerations to follow before indulging. Vegetarians or those who have to watch their diet due to pregnancy will still want to tuck in, but will do so with all the more gusto once they know they have the right cheeses.
This person will appreciate a cheese that bites back. Long maturation times, deep and complex flavours, and a tantalising tang that will linger on the palate until the next day are non-negotiable for this person.