Few foods are more likely to get people drooling than cheese, and a great cheeseboard with all its variety is even more likely to do so as everyone will be able to pick out one of their favourite varieties.
Indeed, when it comes to food photography it is hard not to notice how often cheese features on a supermarket or deli store images, often a close-up of a fragment of fromage on a cracker, with a few tasty crumbs lying around.
Even so, it’s important to consider how to maximise the visual appeal of your cheeseboard, especially if you are in a commercial position of selling cheese or simply wanting to impress.
There are two key considerations to bear in mind. The first is the other items alongside the cheese and the second is the background.
Some of these elements are obvious. For example, crackers, knives, chutney and fruits such as grapes can all be added to the image. Indeed, there are many great fruit and cheese pairings that your picture could feature, such as apples with brie, cranberries with Mozzarella, Camembert with almonds or Manchego with Pears.
However, it is wise to avoid overdoing it, so skip the extra fruit if your cheese is already fruit infused, a practice started by Wensleydale at its creamery in Hawes using cranberries.
Once your accompaniments on the board itself have been decided, you need a backdrop that fits the colours. A marble backdrop board can either offer a contrast or a complement.
In the case of a contrast, a mottled grey of marble can help highlight the simple, plain and bold colours of cheeses like a bright orange Red Leicester, an amber coloured Gouda or green-clad Yarg with its nettle or garlic wrapping.
On the other hand, this may work less well with black, white and grey cheeses, such as Charcoal Cheddar, Petit Grey or any of the numerous white cheeses.
Alternatively, there are circumstances in which a marble board could work in a spectacular visual way with an arrangement of marbled cheeses.
The most classical of these is Sage Derby, famous for its distinctive green marbled pattern (though this is a newer innovation; traditional sage Derby isn’t green). But it is not the only one. Indeed, many stores now commonly stock Belton Port Derby from the Shropshire farm of that name, which has the same marbled pattern but in purple.
Any cheeseboard made of these will be a spectacular sight, and of course this can also be combined by other cheeses with non-uniform colours, such as a blue cheese or indeed a fruit-infused variety.
Ultimately, the right colour backdrop and best combinations of condiments and extras will depend on the kind of cheese you are picturing. Just don’t try taking the picture without some to hand, or you may find it the most hunger-inducing task you have ever undertaken.