16 Mar 2020
How to Present Cheese at your Wedding
17 Feb 2020
Providing cheese for your wedding guests is a trend that has been growing in popularity for some time now. So much so that our Welsh wedding cheese cakes are in demand all year round.
Cheese for the evening of a wedding can be a cost-effective and an impressive way to keep your guests satisfied as the afternoon/evening celebrations progress, along with providing a tasty accompaniment for the wedding drinks in the evening.
Before we dive into the options, it goes without saying that you will want really good quality cheeses. A cheese specialist will ensure that you receive great service and that your cheese is looked after, in excellent condition and will arrive in a timely fashion.
Here are two main approaches to presenting cheese for your wedding guests to admire and devour.
The Wedding Cheese Cake
A wedding cheese cake is a show-stopping piece. It is comprised of a number of wheels of cheeses, stacked on top of each other, to give the appearance of a traditional tiered wedding cake creating real visual impact.
Quantity: To achieve the wedding cheese cake look, the cake is usually made up of between three and six large wheels of cheese and therefore, up to around six varieties.
A good selection of cheeses will satisfy both the adventurous foodie and those who prefer a more conventional style cheese.
Types: The finished appearance of your cake also needs to be taken into consideration when deciding upon cheese choices. Cheese truckles come in all colours, textures and sizes from coloured wax to naturally aged and organic mould rind.
You may want a fairly natural effect. For example, a wheel of Mon Las blue, Caws Cerwyn farmhouse cheddar, a soft Angiddy or Perl Wen and a flavoured Pwll Du as in our Caldicot cake.
Alternatively, cheeses such as those by Snowdonia Cheese Company and Abergavenny Fine Foods, who produce tinted wax coated truckles, can inject some bold colour into your cake composition.
Sizes: Wedding cheese cakes tend to look most pleasing when they naturally graduate from a wide base to a narrower pinnacle. With this in mind, cakes are composed based on the cheese wheel weight, density and consistency (e.g. a soft brie at the top). This leads us on to our next point.
Additional Cheese: The cake’s purpose is to look beautiful so to save compromising on its appearance, if you’d like to ensure that everyone gets an equal opportunity to taste each cheese, you could order additional supplies of the smaller cheeses at the very top of the cake and store them elsewhere until the cake is ready to be served.
Presentation: As you can see from some our images, there are many ways to decorate your wedding cheese cake OR you may want the cheese rind to ‘speak for itself’ and keep it natural. Cheese wheels are usually delivered without additional decor so that you can decorate it in accordance with your wedding theme.
People have been known to order multiple smaller cheese cakes: one for each table. This reduces queues at the cheese table and ensures that you have catered for the exact number of guests.
When to set up the cake: Consider timings of the wedding so that the caterers will know when to take the cheese out of the fridge to decorate it. Cheese tastes best at room temperature but left out too long and the quality of flavour and texture, not to mention best food practises could be compromised.
~ For more detail on choosing and presenting your Welsh wedding cheese cake, we highly recommend reading our ‘12 Tips For Creating The Perfect Cheese Wedding Cake’ or getting in touch to discuss options.
The Cheeseboard/Platter/Grazing Table
The humble cheeseboard can take on a whole new meaning when planning for a large number of your friends and family to enjoy.
Cheese Selection: In comparison to the wedding cheese cake, you’re not limited to cheeses which will tier well. You can go for a much larger selection. To save decision-making becoming somewhat overwhelming, if you try to go for a well balanced collection, catering for the milder palate as well as the most adventurous, you should end up with a really exciting table.
We suggest choosing a minimum of four or five cheeses, with one being from each of the following groups: a hard cheese, a blue, a soft cheese, a goats cheese and one a little more unusual.
If you are a blue cheese lover, how about picking a few for comparison such as a firm Mon Las, a creamy Tysul Blue and Perl Las? Of course, if you’ve settled on your main cheeses but you’ve had your eye on the Red Devil for example (which looks amazing but may prove too fiery for some), you can order small quantities to give an added ‘kick’ to an already impressive collection.
Size and Quantity: We’re talking about overall amounts here. If the cheese platter is a compliment to an evening meal, you may want a smaller table or even a small board per table. But if it is the main food event, remember to think about the accompaniments and overall space needed. (More on specific quantities further down this page).
Cut Cheese: A lot of your cheese will need to be cut into smaller portion sizes for the grazing table. Cut cheese has a shorter shelf life due to exposure to the air. With this in mind, try to cut the cheese as close to serving as possible for optimum levels of presentation and freshness. Be aware that this will give the cut cheese a seven to ten day best before date in comparison with an uncut wheel of cheese which will usually have a much longer best before date.
Arrangement: If you’d like to be more inventive with your platter, think about levels and layout. How will people access the food on offer? Will you want all the cheese one end of the table leading down to the additional accompaniments, or mix and match so that a number of people can help themselves simultaneously?
Levels can be created simply with mini tables or wooden boxes covered in tablecloth for example. They can add an extra dimension to the visual effect whilst increasing the surface area of the serving table, whilst making it easier for people to see and reach for the food.
Decor: We love a simple arrangement of cheese and crackers and to be honest, there’s not much more needed than that. However, if you’d like to create a more elaborate set up, you may want to include a whole range of complementary additions to provide a wider range of edible options but also serve as decor to fill in space and really make the arrangement ‘pop’.
Think about flowers, foliage, nuts, figs, fruit (dried, large whole fruit, fresh cut cross-sectionally), salad/vegetables, pretzels, cured meats and olives.
Finally, some things to consider for both wedding cheese cake and grazing table styles
Cheese quantities per person:
We recommend 75g – 110g per person if the cheese is being served as part of a range of other foods in the evening.
If the cheese is the main evening food, go for 150g – 200g per person.
(Our Welsh wedding cheese cakes give an indication on our website, of the number of people it will serve, roughly based on the 75g-110g range.)
Accompaniments: Items such as a good selection of crackers are surely a must. Additional accompaniments can be chosen based on their aesthetic qualities which may balance out the overall presentation of the grazing table (e.g. colours) as well as their flavours such as acidic/fruity options to balance out the dairy.
Here are some suggestions to think about: Crackers, chutneys, breads, cured meats, antipasti or mezze options, hummus, guacamole and other dips, dried and fresh fruit (as mentioned in the platter section above), honey and even chilli and chocolate (yes, chocolate!) jam.
Labelling/Flags: Labelling is important when it comes to food. We provide labels with all our cheese so you can let your guests know which cheeses to choose from, where they come from and the key ingredients so there won’t be any confusion for those with special dietary requirements or allergies.
Try before you buy: It’s a good idea to taste your cheese choices before you commit to a large cheese order. This ensures that you can relax safe in the knowledge that your guests will really enjoy your selection.
You can order pre-designed taster boxes for each of our wedding cheese cakes.
Whatever you decide to do, you can’t go wrong if you take note of the points above. And if you’re in doubt, you can always contact a cheese specialist to chat through options.