Serving Christmas cake with cheese?

In parts of Northern England, it is customary for people to eat Christmas cake with cheese.

The tradition can be traced back to Victorian times. In a book called Studies in Nidderdale published in 1871, Joseph Lucas wrote about the Christmas cake habits of the time.

“On Christmas Eve one Yule cake is given to each member of the family, along with a piece of Christmas cheese. As a rule, part of it is left for Christmas morning, and eaten at breakfast.”

While the combination may sound bizarre, back in the 19th century Christmas cake wasn’t served with icing on top, and cheese would likely have been one of the tastier accompaniments. And of course, fruit and cheese are a timeless combo.

Blue cheese is a particularly good combo with Christmas cake because of its salty and buttery flavour which contrasts with the flavour notes, but any crumbly cheese would do the trick.