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Forget turkey, stuffing and Brussels sprouts. For many of us, the cheese board is the cream of Christmas cuisine.
But with each supermarket offering its own take on the dairy platter, where should you buy yours this year?
Here, we take a look at cheese boards from each of the major supermarkets to reveal how much wedge (cheese) you’ll get for your wedge (money).
What do people want in a cheese board?
Before we look at the supermarkets’ offerings, let’s establish what we’re looking for in a pasteurised platter.
We asked Which? members what a cheese board should contain. Cheddar, stilton and brie came out on top, with each getting the thumbs-up from over 70% of respondents.
Camembert came next (39%), followed by a ‘cheese containing fruit’, such as Wensleydale with cranberry, at 35%.
Price-wise, our survey found most people planned to spend more than £10 on their cheese boards, with three quarters saying they’d spend £11 or more.
This is a healthy budget if you’re planning to put together your own selection of cheeses. But our research found that buying a supermarket selection pack could make things a lot cheaper, as well as easier – and you could always boost your pre-packed selection with a couple of extras for added excitement.
- Find out more: five tips for the perfect cheese board
Cheapest supermarket cheese board
Our cheese-loving researchers compared selection packs from seven of the eight major supermarkets (we couldn’t find a comparable board at Lidl).
Nearly every board contained brie, cheddar, red Leicester, Stilton and Wensleydale with cranberry. Waitrose also added goat’s cheese, while Morrisons went rogue with Bleu D’Auvergne and smoked cheddar rather than Stilton and Wensleydale (and even threw in a wooden board to serve them on).
Supermarket cheese boards compared
Links take you to more details on the retailers’ websites.
|Product||Pack price*||Price per 100g (lowest to highest)||Cheeses included|
|Aldi Emporium Christmas Cheese Selection (430g)||£3.69||86p||Brie, cheddar, red Leicester, stilton, Wensleydale with cranberry|
|Tesco 5 Cheese Selection (500g)||£5||£1||Brie, cheddar, red Leicester, stilton, Wensleydale with cranberry|
|Sainsburys Favourite Cheese Selection (456g)||£5||£1.10||Brie, cheddar, red Leicester, stilton, Wensleydale with cranberry|
|Asda Classic Cheese Board (450g)||£5.00||£1.11||Brie, cheddar, red Leicester, stilton, Wensleydale with cranberry|
|M&S Cheeseboard Favourites (530g)||£6 at Ocado||£1.13||Brie, cheddar, red Leicester, stilton, Wensleydale with cranberry|
|Waitrose Cheeseboard Favourites (565g)||£7||£1.24||Brie, cheddar, goat’s cheese, red Leicester, stilton, Wensleydale with cranberry|
|Morrisons Festive Cheeseboard (480g)||£6||£1.25 (but pack also includes a wooden board)||Brie, cheddar, red Leicester, Bleu D’Auvergne, smoked cheddar|
*Prices checked between 26 November and 8 December.
Which? members’ top three cheeses – cheddar, stilton and brie – could be found in nearly every pack.
On the downside, all of the packs contained Red Leicester, which finished a lowly eighth in our survey, while none came with camembert, which four in 10 thought a worthy addition to their cheese board.
Gallery: what the packs look like
- Find out more: where can you buy the cheapest Christmas dinner ingredients?
How much of each cheese do you get with each product?
We bought cheese boards from six of the supermarkets and measured out the cheeses for a snapshot of what yours could contain. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a board in Asda.
Cheddar and brie usually weighed in heaviest, followed by Red Leicester, Wensleydale with cranberry, and stilton. The difference between cheddar and stilton was a whole 50g in M&S’s case.
The chart below shows the proportion of each of the ‘classic five’ cheeses.
If you’re anything like our survey respondents, you might be disappointed to see Red Leicester provided in such hefty chunks, and stilton supplied in stingier slices.
If you’re happy with your cheese board containing mostly brie and cheddar, these pre-packaged supermarket selections could be for you. But if you’re a stilton super fan, you’re better off assembling your own.
- Find out more: the best places to buy your turkey and trimmings