Ben Shewry’s cheese and pineapple hedgehogs

Could this creation be the pinnacle of kitsch ‘70s party food? Perhaps it’s set to be the pinnacle of your creativity in 2020. 

“Nothing truly shows a person’s party food chops like a cheese and pineapple hedgehog,” says Ben Shewry. “In fact, it could be said that all party food should be judged by this simplest of recipes.

“Once you’ve completed the preparations the level of your masterpiece will be decided by how jazzy your presentation is. The wackier the better so lean into your inner ‘70s vibe even if you, like me, barely experienced this decade. I’d like to say the ‘70s were just a haze of cheese, pineapple and rum but the truth is that it was just a haze of cheese and pineapple baby food on my face.”

Makes 8


100 ml white vinegar

100 g white sugar

100 ml dark rum

8 x 2cm by 2cm cubes of fresh pineapple

8 x 2cm by 2cm cubes aged cheddar

8 toothpicks


1. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar and sugar to the boil. Remove from the heat, allow to cool to room temperate and add rum. Place pineapple cubes in a dish with a rim, pour rum mixture over and allow to marinate for 2 hours minimum. This can also be marinated overnight.

2. Drain the pineapple. It’s up to you if you’d like to drink the rum pickle - I would not be averse to it myself.

3. Now comes the really tricky part (especially if you drank too much rum pickle) - push a piece of cheese onto a toothpick, then follow that with a piece of pineapple. Phew. Feel free to hang your hedgehogs on your favourite ‘70s opp shop wooden pineapple (as pictured). Alternatively, you could hang them off the remainder of the real pineapple you now have in your fridge.