Call me crackers (wahey) but I really, really love cheese. It’s one of my favourite foods and I can’t help but regard anyone who doesn’t like it with slight suspicion (see my recent text below). So when Jon & John (the big cheeses at 1000 Trades) invited me round to try their new cheese and charcuterie boards, you cheddar believe that I was excited! Okay, I promise there are no more cheese puns from this point on…
This new offering will sit alongside their rotating kitchen residency as a permanent menu option. Reflecting the ethos of the wine, the cheeses are sourced from small, artisanal producers both in the UK and continental Europe. The selection currently includes Brie de Meaux, Black Bomber, Applewood Smoked Cheddar, Blacksticks Blue, Manchego and French Goats Cheese.
My personal favourite was the Black Bomber, an extra mature cheddar made in North Wales by the award-winning Snowdonia Cheese Company. It has a beautiful rich flavour and creamy texture, and is a million miles away from the boring cheddar you get in Tesco!
I was already a fan of Blacksticks Blue as a pub I used to work at serves it in their cheeseboard. It’s handmade by Lancashire based company Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses, who also produce the famous Kidderton Ash Goats Cheese. It has an amazing tangy taste, but the distinctive blue colour marbled through the golden cheese means it also looks great on the board.
I loved seeing the Manchego on the cheeseboard as I rarely get to eat it unless I’m in Spain and it’s so underrated. Along with the classic French soft cheeses (brie and goats cheese), it gave a really nice balance to the board; there’s definitely something for everyone here!
Almost as important as the cheese are the accompaniments. 1000 Trades do a great job here, serving up an unusual choice of quince jelly, cornichons, balsamic onions and Peter’s Yard Crispbreads (sometimes including a fantastic black charcoal variety) which complement the cheese perfectly.
The cheeseboard is priced at £8. After checking out some other Birmingham bars & restaurants, where prices ranged from £6.95 to £9.50 for 3 cheeses, I reckon this is pretty damn good.
Alongside the cheeseboard I also tried the Spanish charcuterie board (£10), which contains a selection of cured meats imported from small scale producers in Spain. With generous portions of quality meats and big flavours, this board was a winner as well. The charcuterie board is served with the same accompaniments as the cheeseboard, apart from the quince which is replaced with basil & garlic olives.
We NEED to talk about these olives because they are seriously amazing. I don’t think I’ve had better in the UK, and Ollie will vouch for the fact that I can’t stop going on about them. It’s worth getting the board for these olives alone!
I can see these boards being a good lighter dinner for two, or something to share in a group over drinks; you can try some fabulous meats and cheeses and make yourself feel all sophisticated and continental.
Considering 1000 Trades’ emphasis on quality organic wine, I think this is a perfect addition to their menu and it will be difficult to resist ordering one after a few glasses of wine. After all, is there any combination on earth better than wine and cheese?!
Disclaimer: I was invited along to try the cheese by 1000 Trades, so did not pay. Of course, all opinions are honest and my own.
1000 Trades can be found at 16 Frederick Street, B1 3HE. WEBSITE