While we've always thought beauty and gin advent calendars were the height of sophistication (and that's not forgetting trusty chocolate), the cheese advent calendar is back for the fourth year running. Which, quite frankly, is exactly what our 2020 needs. Are we allowed one for every month of the year?
Cheese lovers, this ones for you. Yes, an actual advent calendar with little blocks of cheese hidden behind every door. We don't brie-leave it (sorry).
Annem Hobson, a food blogger from London, created the cheese advent calendar back in 2016, before launching it to the general public in 2017. Four years on, it's still going strong, and we're not sure we want to picture a future Christmas without it.
We all know a cheese board is a Christmas must (actually, it's just a life must tbh), but we've never been happier to combine our favourite things: advent calendars and diary products.
It was the first one of its kind (because no-one thought to make our dreams a reality before now. Wut?) and has been a fan favourite ever since, with thousands of people expressing their interest from the first year. Which is hardly surprising, considering our obsession with cheese and the fact Christmas = the perfect excuse for eating as much as possible.
Anyway, do you hear what we're saying? CHEESE. ADVENT. CALENDAR. THE DREAM.
The 2020 version of the calendar contains 81% less plastic but no less cheese than past versions. Behind 24 door are individually wrapped portions of delicious cheese, encased in a fully recyclable, fridge-door-friendly cardboard calendar. Nine different variations of cheese are included.
Those include Applewood (a delicate smoky flavour and a lovely smooth texture, finished with a dusting of paprika for good measure), Applewood Vintage PDO (a similar tasting cheese with an exquisitely smooth, rich creaminess that melts in the mouth, aged for 12 months) and Ilchester Derby with Sage (one of England’s oldest and most famous cheeses, with finely chopped sage.)
Also in the mix is Ilchester Mature Cheddar (creamy with earthy tangy notes), Ilchester Vintage PDO Cheddar (a drier texture to standard cheddar due to the maturing process with crunchy calcium crystals) and the Ilchester Double Gloucester (a hard cheese with a savoury, mellow flavour).
Finally, the calendar contains Ilchester Red Leicester (smooth and nutty), Ilchester Aged Red Leicester (carefully matured for a minimum of 9 months giving it a distinguishable smooth, tangy and nutty taste) and the Mexicana (a fiery mix of bell, jalapeño and chilli peppers, carefully blended with traditional British Cheddar and a secret mix of Mexican spices.)
Speaking about her invention, Annem said, "Since I first made a handmade prototype, the Cheese Advent Calendar has reached goals I could only dream of! From outselling chocolate at major retailers, to continuing to retail in more and more countries each year.
"The response from fans - many of whom have followed since day one - has been phenomenal. I’m thrilled to launch a new and improved version of the Cheese Advent Calendar based on feedback from the loyal cheese-loving community!"
We are very, very keen to get involved. The calendar is available from early November 2020 in Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Waitrose, Morrisons, Ocado, Booths, and Amazon UK. Don't forget to keep it in the fridge!
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