Research Reveals We May Be Getting Cheese-Bored – But Help Is At Hand…

The great British after-dinner cheeseboard is in danger of becoming a thing of the past, according to a new study from British savoury snack-maker Jacob's, which reveals that a massive two thirds of the UK (65%) prepare one just once a year or less, and one in ten (9%) rarely keep more than one type of cheese in the fridge at a time.

In response to the findings, Jacob's is celebrating the 130th anniversary of its iconic, Jacob's Cream Cracker by creating an epic 40m cheeseboard – the longest ever cheeseboard –  set to inspire a new generation with the simple joys of perfectly paired cheese and crackers.

Jacob's research also lifts the lid on the nation's cheese knowledge – or lack of. The report found that the average Brit could name just four of the 700-plus varieties of British cheese on the market, and also revealing that one in six UK consumers haven't heard of Stilton and a quarter are not familiar with Wensleydale, despite its popularity with TV's Wallace and Gromit.

It's not all bad news however, as the research found a resurgence in appetite for the cheeseboard amongst those living in the south and the east, with southerners three and half times more likely than those in the north to eat a cheeseboard every week, and those in the east of Britain 26% more likely to than those in the west. What's more, Londoners are four times as likely to know about obscure British varieties such as Ticklemore, and those from the South West are 49% more likely than average to spot a Stinking Bishop with ease.
The results of the study also show a significant shift in the tastes of British consumers, with those aged 18 to 24 increasingly opting for fruit (+180%), charcuterie meats (+100%) and nuts (+80%) to accompany their cheeses. Meanwhile those aged 45+ stick with the traditional tastes of grapes (+23%), pickles (+19%) and butter (+13%). However for all age brackets, the cracker came out top, 54% naming them the perfect pairing for cheese.
Paul Courtney, Head Baker at United Biscuits, commented: “You don't reach 130 years of baking Jacob's Cream Crackers without learning a thing or two about cheeseboards, and we know there's great pleasure in the timeless combination of cheese and crackers – so it's a shame to see that enthusiasm may be dwindling.

“We're now on a mission to bring joy back into the cheeseboard, to inspire people to try different things as they rediscover this varied and satisfying course, and add a whole new level of excitement to the cheeseboard by showcasing the endless possible pairings of crackers and cheese.”

Stretching the length of Tower Bridge Walkway in London, the Jacob's Longest Ever Cheeseboard grand feast features a range of specially developed cheese and cracker pairings created by food and drink expert Matt Day.

Matt says of the project: “When you pair cheese with the right biscuit, condiment or drink, it can elevate the taste to another level, but get it wrong and the flavour clash can be quite spectacular! Good pairings bring out the best in all the elements in a kind of symbiotic relationship, and we wanted to pull together a few examples of that for people on the Jacob's Longest Ever Cheeseboard.”

Matt's perfect cheese and cracker pairings are:
  • Jacob's Choice Grain w/British Brie, Fresh Fruit & Celery
  • Jacob's Cream Cracker w/ Red Leicester, Pickle and Chutney
  • Jacob's Savours Salt & Cracked Black Pepper Bake w/ Caerphilly, & Cured Meats
  • Jacob's Cornish Wafer w/Blue Cheese & Poached Pear
Top 10 Most-Recognised British Cheeses
  1. Cheddar
  2. Stilton
  3. Red Leicester
  4. Wensleydale
  5. Double Gloucester
  6. Cheshire
  7. Caerphilly
  8. Lancashire
  9. Stinking Bishop
  10. Cornish Brie
  11. Cornish Yarg

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