I must admit, the hardest part of constructing a charcuterie board is choosing the cheese. The options are endless! Havarti? Cheddar? What about blue cheese? Besides, you also want to impress your guests. You want your charcuterie board to contain only the best cheeses.
To choose the right cheese for your charcuterie board, choose cheeses that you enjoy but also offer a variety of tastes and textures. By starting this way, you get a little bit of everything. This will typically include soft and semi-soft cheeses as well as semi-firm and hard cheeses, and perhaps some specialty cheeses like herb Havarti or smoked gouda. Here are some examples of the types of cheese you may find at your local grocery store:
Aged: Gouda, Sharp Cheddar, Gruyere
Blue: Gorgonzola, Stilton, Roquefort
Crumbly: Goat or Feta
Firm: Parmigiano Reggiano, Manchego, Gouda
Smoked: Applewood smoked cheddar, Provolone
Soft: Double cream brie, Boursin, Fresh Mozzarella
In addition to taste, these varieties of cheese also offer a variety of textures and smells. Having more variety on your board will make it more photogenic (aka Instagram worthy) and cater to the different tastes of your guests. Now, let's break down what we think are the six best kinds of cheese to include on your board.
Double Cream BrieBrie is one of our favourite cheeses to serve on a charcuterie board for many reasons. The round, white cheese looks beautiful surrounded by colourful fruits, green and deep brown olives, creamy coloured nuts, and red meats. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, brie pairs well with both sweet and savoury taste combinations. A simple cracker and a drizzle of honey is my favourite way to enjoy brie, but it can also be served warm and dipped in with a French baguette.
Applewood smoked cheddar
Next up, this may be the overall favourite on your board. There is something about applewood smoked cheddar that everyone loves. A slice of hard cheese like this always goes well with salty Italian cured meats, like prosciutto. There are many pairing options for you to explore.
ManchegoManchego is one of our favourite cheeses to use. It is very versatile in the ways you can present and enjoy it. With manchego we find less is more when it comes to enjoying this cheese as its intense zesty taste and crumbly texture provides a rich, salty finish.
Parmigiano ReggianoYou can never go wrong with fresh parm! This salty cheese pairs well with just about anything on a cheeseboard. We often serve mild honey with Parmigiano to complement its sweetness without overpowering it. Also, salty, briny accompaniments such as cornichons are great.
Goat cheeseGoat cheese is one of the most versatile cheeses we use on our boards. This underrated cheese can be transformed by simply adding different ingredients from everything bagel seasoning to honey to crushed nuts to dry, edible florals. Adding a non cows milk cheese to your board can help elevate and provide options for your guests.
Boursin Cheese is the last but most certainly not the least. This cheese is so creamy and spreadable. It is also extremely rich and decadent. Boursin is much more "spreadable" than brie, making it a perfect topping for crackers and slices of bread. Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs is our favourite and a must-have on any charcuterie board. Boursin can be found in most grocery stores too!
What's Next?Regarding quantity, you'll want to make sure you have about 2 ounces of cheese per person. Remember to have individual knives for each type of cheese so that you avoid mixing of flavours. One last tip is to set your cheeses out about 30 minutes before serving, as cheese is best appreciated at room temperature!
When looking for the best cheese for a charcuterie board, there are a lot of factors to consider. We hope you enjoyed our six personal favourites at The Grazing Table KW. We promise that a Charcuterie Board will be such a great addition to your next party spread, whether you order one from us or make your own at home.