Christmas cake is the divider of people. For some no festive feast would be complete without it, but for others the rich marzipan and fruit-laden cake is a brandy-soaked step too far.
So when a Facebook post from Born and Raised in Leicester shared an image of a slice of Crimbo cake with a generous chunk of cheese on the side, it sparked a lively debate.
“Cheese with your Xmas cake. Yes or no??” the accompanying caption read, to which 14K and counting Facebook users were quick to add their opinions.
Some were totally on board with the idea of having Christmas cake with a slab of cheese.
“Yes, although my husband says it should be Lancashire cheese,” one user wrote.
“A piece of cake without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze That was what I got told years ago,” another Facebook user added.
Others wondered why on earth you wouldn’t have cheese with your Crimbo slice. “Why is anyone even questioning this?” one user asked. “Of course you should have cheese with your Christmas cake. In fact, it should be taken with any rich fruit cake – not just at Christmas”
But others weren’t sold on the idea at all.
“NO – why would you want cheese with cake? When I came to live in the Northeast I thought it was odd. Love cheese, love Christmas cake but not together,” one user commented.
“Erm… I’m gonna have to say No as this sounds awful but I have never tried it so maybe I will change my mind,” another wrote.
“Nooo! Born & raised in the south, 45 years in North Yorkshire but this is still an alien concept to me!!” yet another user commented.
Some hadn’t heard of the idea but were willing to give it a go.
“Looks and sounds like a very improbable combo,” another added. “(Googled “Cheese with xmas cake – are these people mad?” and brain is going “Noooo…!”) – but I’ve always got a lump of Red Leicester in the fridge, so might give it a try.”
As some users pointed out, the pairing of Christmas cake and cheese originated in the North of England. According to the Courtyard Dairy matching fruitcake with cheese is not a recent phenomenon.
“Yorkshire Food Historian Peter Brears has traced it back as far as the 1900s and it seems its origins might stretch even further back to the Victorian era, starting in Yorkshire before later spreading throughout the other northern counties,” the site explains.
“The tradition of enjoying fruitcake with cheese was and is strong in the north of England, but seems often frowned upon or ignored elsewhere in the UK.”
If you’ve never tried the unusual combo but you’re willing to give it a go, Andy Swinscoe, The Courtyard Dairy’s owner, recommends going for a traditional ‘crumbly’ cheese, like Cheshire, Lancashire, Caerphilly and Wensleydale. “The lactic ‘bite’ offsets the rich dense figgy/curranty note of a proper moist fruitcake,” he explains.
Are you brave enough to give it a go?
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