Your Guide To The Best Cheese For Your Charcuterie Board

Your Guide To The Best Cheese For Your Charcuterie Board

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Alex is the owner of Ask Alex Wood Worx, a high-end woodworking site that sells personalized charcuterie boards and other wood products. With 15 years of woodworking experience, Alex is a master of his craft. His attention to detail and passion for his work sets him apart from the competition.

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What Is The Best Way To Arrange The Cheese On Your Cheese Board

One of the most exciting aspects of a charcuterie board is experimenting with the best cheeses. It's always a delight to discover and combine new flavors that tantalize the taste buds. This truly enhances the charcuterie board experience.

Let this guide inspire and assist you in crafting your next delectable cheese board adventure.

    • Arrange according to flavor profile: Start by grouping cheese with similar and complementary flavors. For instance, a mild cheese should be paired with a sharp or tangy cheese, while a creamy cheese can balance out a crumbly or nutty selection. It’s also important to consider the type of milk used in each cheese as this will affect its flavor profile and texture. For example, goat’s milk cheeses tend to have grassy notes that pair well with bolder flavors like blue cheese. Similarly, cow’s milk cheeses are generally more mellow and buttery than sheep’s milk varieties.

these 5 cheeses are a must have for you charcuterie board

  • Mix the styles: For variety and visual interest, mix up the shapes and textures of the cheeses you’re serving. Include a variety of shapes and sizes, including slices, cubes, wedges, rounds and more.For example, put cubes of cheddar next to slivers of brie or add a large round of Swiss cheese alongside small wedges of goat cheese. By mixing the types of cheeses, you can create visually appealing charcuterie boards that will be sure to impress your guests.
  • Place them around the board: Start by placing your firm cheeses in the middle of the board and work your way out with soft and semi-soft varieties. This will give your guests plenty of room to sample each cheese without having to reach over other ingredients.
  • Label, label, label: Include a printed sign or small cards that identify each cheese you’re serving so there’s no confusion about what guests are eating. It will get old very quickly when your guests keep asking you "What's this". You can download my blank template from the bottom of the article.

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How Do You Choose Cheese For A Cheese Board

When selecting the best cheeses for cheese boards, there are several factors to consider. The first is the type of cheese.

Choose a variety of flavors and textures such as creamy brie, nutty gouda, sweet Manchego, tangy blue cheese, or aged cheddar. This will ensure that everyone has something they like and can create unique flavor combinations when sampling their favorite cheeses.

Next, you’ll want to think about the origin of each cheese: Is it made locally or imported from abroad?

According to Horners Butcher Block, local cheeses tend to have more distinctive flavors and are better for your health due to their freshness, than their imported counterparts due to their terroir-driven characteristics.

You should also get a sense of the individual character of each cheese—whether it is mild, savory, tangy, sharp, or creamy.

Finally, consider the type of milk used to make each one. Most cheeses are made with cow’s milk but some can also be crafted using sheep’s and goat’s milk for a unique flavor experience.

The milk’s fat content will also affect the texture of the cheese, so choose a combination of full-fat and lower-fat options for guests with different dietary preferences.

Once you’ve identified the best cheeses, it’s time to assemble your charcuterie board. Be sure to mix up the textures and flavors while still following any chosen theme or color palette.

Place each cheese on its plate alongside accompaniments such as crackers, grapes, fresh fruit, and nuts.

Don’t forget to add a few seasonal touches like edible flowers or sprigs of rosemary to make your charcuterie look even more enticing!

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How Far In Advance Should You Cut Cheese For A Charcuterie Board

Cheese is best served at room temperature, so it’s recommended to wait until an hour or two before serving to cut the cheese but according to Taproot, when you're done with your cheese store it in a separate container.

This will ensure that your charcuterie board has a fresh, appetizing appearance and that all of the flavors are at their peak when enjoyed.

You shouldn’t cut the cheese the night before because it won’t look as fresh and appealing when served.

Additionally, cutting cheese too early will cause it to dry out and lose its flavor. The best cheeses aren't cheap and you don't want it to go to waste because you sliced it too early.

Cheese Options

Hard Cheese

  • Parmigiano Reggiano: This is an Italian hard cheese that has a nutty and slightly crunchy texture. It pairs well with cured salty meats such as prosciutto and salami.
  • Cheddar Cheese: A classic English cheese, cheddar cheese has a sharp distinct flavor that complements smoked bacon or ham perfectly.
  • Pecorino Romano: This is a sheep's milk cheese that has a salty flavor with hints of nuttiness. Salami or chorizo is the perfect counterpart for these types of cheese.
  • Manchego: This Spanish cheese is semi-firm and tangy in taste, making it the perfect accompaniment to spicy chorizo or jamón serrano.
  • Gouda: The Dutch gouda comes in many varieties but all have a sweet nutty flavor that goes great with honey-glazed sausages. I wrote a Guide To Gouda Cheese if you want to dive into all aspects of Gouda Cheese.

Semi-Firm Cheese

  • Gruyère: This nutty Swiss cheese goes well with roasted turkey or pork tenderloin.
  • Taleggio: This Italian cheese has a pungent aroma and creaminess that makes it the perfect pairing for salami or prosciutto.
  • Fontina Val d’Aosta: This semi-firm Italian cheese has a sweet, buttery flavor that pairs nicely with cured meats such as speck and pancetta.
  • Comté: The French Comté is nutty and sweet, making it a great addition to a cheese platter or sandwich with ham or smoked bacon.

Soft Cheese

  • Brie Cheese: Brie cheese is French cheese and has a creamy texture and earthy flavor that pairs well with honey-glazed ham or turkey. To learn How To Eat Brie Cheese click on the link.
  • Camembert: This soft, buttery cheese from Normandy has a light mushroom flavor that complements smoked bacon or salami.
  • Ricotta Salata: This Italian cheese is firm yet crumbly in texture with a mild salty taste that pairs perfectly with prosciutto or speck.
  • Goat Cheese: This creamy goat cheese, has a slightly tangy flavor and goes great with chorizo, salami, or even roasted vegetables.
  • Blue Cheese: The strong pungent flavor of blue cheese makes it the perfect complement to cured ham or bacon.


  • Munster: This semi-soft French cheese has a strong aroma and intense flavor that pairs nicely with speck or smoked bacon.
  • Fontina: This Italian cheese has a mild nutty taste that complements cured meats such as prosciutto or salami.
  • Gorgonzola: This blue-veined Italian cheese has a creamy texture and is salty in flavor and goes well with honey-glazed ham.
  • Limburger: This soft German cheese has an almost fruity taste that pairs well with chorizo or roasted vegetables.
  • Port Salut: This French semi-soft cheese can have either a sweet or savory flavor that pairs perfectly with turkey or ham.
  • Taleggio: This semi-soft Italian cheese has a strong, earthy flavor that goes nicely with speck or prosciutto.

benefits of cheese

Should You Have A Fancy Or Simple Charcuterie Board

The pros of having a simple charcuterie board are that it is easy to put together, cost-efficient, and can still be enjoyable. It also allows for more creativity and flexibility in what you put on the board.

The cons of having a simple charcuterie board are that there may not be as much variety or flavor as a fancy charcuterie board.

The pros of having a fancy charcuterie board are that it can have an impressive presentation with different shapes, colors, and flavors.

A fancier board might even include unique condiments and ingredients like truffle honey or fig jam which adds additional depth to the flavors.

The cons of having a fancy charcuterie board are that it requires more time, effort, and money to put together.

date recipe

How Do You Choose Cheese For A Perfect Cheese Board

  • Consider the type of cheese: Start by considering what types of cheese you would like to include on your charcuterie boards. Do you want soft, semi-soft, or hard cheeses?
  • Determine serving size: Next, determine how much cheese you need to serve your guests properly. A general rule of thumb is two ounces per person.
  • Choose flavors and textures: Select a variety of flavors and textures for your board. Aim for both mild and strong cheeses as well as a few unique ones such as blue-veined or smoked varieties.
  • Shop online or in person: It's up to personal preference! Shopping online can be convenient if you are looking for specialty cheeses while shopping in person allows you to get a better sense of what the cheese looks and tastes like before purchasing.
  • Get a variety: As a general rule, it's best to have at least two different types of cheese on charcuterie boards. You can mix and match hard, soft, semi-soft, and blue cheeses for the best selection.
  • Consider your budget: When selecting cheese, it's important to factor in your budget. Cheeses vary in price and can range from very affordable to more expensive varieties. Keep this in mind when selecting cheeses for your board.

Do Chocolate And Cheese Go Together

Chocolate and cheese can be a surprisingly delicious combination. The key to pairing chocolate and cheese is to find the right balance between sweetness, bitterness, and saltiness.

For example, dark chocolate pairs wonderfully with a sharp cheddar or an aged Gouda while milk chocolate complements a milder Brie or Havarti.

Other possible combinations include:

  • Dark Chocolate & Gruyere - The nutty flavor of Gruyere pairs nicely with the richness of dark chocolate.
  • Milk Chocolate & Gorgonzola - A creamy gorgonzola and sweet milk chocolate are balanced perfectly in this classic combo.
  • White Chocolate & Manchego - The savory nuttiness of Manchego pairs wonderfully with the sweet creaminess of white chocolate.
  • Semi-sweet Chocolate & Camembert - The earthy, mushroom notes in camembert are perfectly complemented by the subtle sweetness of semi-sweet chocolate.










How To Incorporate Coffee Into Your Cheese Board

Coffee can be a great addition to charcuterie boards. The key to pairing coffee with cheese is to start by selecting the right coffee and cheeses that complement each other.

Dark roast coffees tend to pair best with harder, aged cheeses like parmesan or cheddar while lighter roasts go well with softer cheeses like brie or gouda.

You can also consider adding flavored coffees, such as chocolate or hazelnut, to bring out different notes in your cheese selection.

For a truly interactive experience, consider setting up an interactive coffee station. Have a selection of different coffees, beans, and flavored syrups available for guests to explore.

This will allow them to create their own custom coffee drink with the perfect balance of flavors to complement the cheese board.

By combining charcuterie cheeses with an interactive coffee station, you can truly elevate your next gathering and give your guests a unique experience they won’t forget!










the end


In conclusion, creating the perfect charcuterie cheese board is all about having fun and experimenting with different flavor combinations.

Whether you're looking for something sweet or savory, there are plenty of delicious pairings to choose from. Be sure to consider your budget and find a balance between hard and soft cheeses when assembling your cheese boards.

Finally, don't be afraid to try out some unconventional pairings like chocolate and cheese - they might just become your new favorite!

What is the best cheese for a charcuterie board in your experience? Let me know in the comments below!

"Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through those links at no additional cost to you."

faq draft top


What cheese is best for a cheese and crackers tray?

Cheese and cracker trays are a great way to add variety to any gathering. A selection of mild, hard, and semi-soft cheeses such as cheddar, Gouda, Brie, Havarti and Manchego offer something for everyone to enjoy.

How do you make a beautiful cheese platter?

Creating a beautiful cheese plate is all about choosing the right cheeses and appealingly assembling them. Start by selecting a variety of flavors, textures, and colors, then arrange them on

How many cheeses do I need for a charcuterie board?

For a small charcuterie board, it's best to choose at least 4 cheeses. Try to pick out an assortment of soft and hard cheese varieties with complementary flavors that will appeal to different tastes


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