The Best Charcuterie Cheeses For Your Board

Welcome, cheese lovers! Join us as we explore the top-notch cheeses that will make your charcuterie board the talk of the town. From classic favorites to bold new finds, we’ve got the ultimate guide to cheesy perfection!

Several different cheeses on a wooden surface with pomegranate seeds and rosemary twigs surrounding.

Hey everyone! Ever wonder why cheese boards are the life of the party? They’re not just a feast for the eyes—they’re a delicious conversation starter that everyone loves to dig into.

Let’s explore how to pick the best charcuterie cheeses to make your board a showstopper.

We’ll go beyond the basics, covering everything from classic hits like creamy brie and sharp cheddar to some bold and unconventional cheeses for those who crave something a bit unexpected.

For more helpful tips on how to build your best board – check out our guides for choosing the best charcuterie board meats, best charcuterie crackers, the best jams for charcuterie boards, the best charcuterie pickles, and our easy step-by-step guide on how to make a beautiful simple charcuterie board.

Summer charcuterie boards with a basket of bread.
Easy Breezy Summer Party Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie Board Basics

Originating from France, charcuterie boards historically focused on preserving meats like salamis, hams, and sausages. These boards showcased the art of meat preservation and rich flavors.

Today, charcuterie boards have evolved to include a variety of flavors, blending global tastes on one engaging platter. Inspired by this, cheese boards have also transformed. Originally simple platters, they now feature diverse accompaniments that enhance the cheeses.

Cheese boards are more than just cheese; they’re a creative mix of nuts, pickles, fruits, crackers, and spreads. They cater to a wide range of tastes, making them perfect for both elegant parties and casual weekends at home.

In this post, we’ll explore how to select the best cheeses for your charcuterie boards, making them beautiful and delicious. Whether you’re hosting a big event or a small get-together, we’ve got you covered!

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A variety of cheeses displayed with the title of the post: best cheeses for your charcuterie board.

Top 10 Best Charcuterie Cheeses

Here’s a rundown of the top ten most popular charcuterie cheeses that will elevate any cheese board to the next level,



A crowd-pleaser with its creamy texture and mild buttery flavor, Brie pairs wonderfully with fresh fruits like grapes, apples, and pears; nuts like almonds and walnuts; honey and fig jam; crusty baguette slices. Perfect for spreading, this soft cheese adds a touch of elegance to your board. Popular Brands: Président, Rouzaire



A classic choice that’s hard to beat. With its sharp, tangy taste and firm texture, Cheddar is a versatile cheese that pairs well with apple slices, pickles, and chutneys; crusty bread or crackers; nuts like pecans and walnuts. For the boldest flavor, choose an Aged Cheddar or Extra Sharp Cheddar for your board. Popular Brands: Cabot, Tillamook, Beecher’s Flagship



Rich, caramel-like, and slightly tangy with pronounced nutty and buttery notes, Gouda adds a lovely sweetness to balance out savory meats and pairs well with dried fruits like apricots and figs; fresh pears; honey or caramelized nuts; dark chocolate. This semi-hard cheese is a delightful additions to any board. Popular Brands: Beemster, Old Amsterdam


Blue Cheese

For those who love bold flavors, blue cheese is a must. With it’s tangy, pungent taste and crumbly texture, it is fantastic with pears, apples, and grapes; honey and candied nuts; crusty bread or crackers; and a glass of port wine. A little goes a long way! Popular Brands: Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola Dolce, Rogue River


Triple Cream

A personal favorite, triple-cream cheeses, are beloved for their luxurious, buttery texture and rich flavor. With at least 75% butterfat, they’re rich, silky, and decadently smooth. Pair it with fresh grapes or berries, crusty bread, walnuts, fig jam, or a drizzle of honey for an irresistible treat. Popular Brands: Saint André, Brillat-Savarin, Delice de Bourgogne, Pierre Robert


Goat Cheese

Goat Cheese aka Chèvre is a creamy, tangy, and slightly earthy cheese made from goat’s milk. It’s excellent spread on crackers or paired with fresh figs and berries; drizzles of honey; fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary, making it a versatile and delicious option for your board. Popular Brands: Laura Chenel’s Chèvre, Montchèvre, Vermont Creamery



Gruyère, a semi-hard Swiss cheese, offers rich, nutty flavors with firm, yet slightly crumbly textures. It melts beautifully and pairs well with cured meats like prosciutto and salami; pickles and mustard; crusty bread; and dried apricots and figs. Popular Brands: Emmi, Kaltbach, Mifroma Sui



A Spanish favorite, Manchego has a distinct, buttery taste with a slightly tangy finish. It’s firm, yet creamy textures make it a great match with quince paste, Marcona almonds, olives, crusty bread, and Spanish chorizo. Popular Brands: El Trigal, Dehesa de los Llanos



A hard cow’s milk cheese from Italy with sharp, salty flavors and granular textures, Parmesan, aka Parmigiano Reggiano, is not just for grating. Break it into chunks and pair with cured meats like prosciutto and salami, fresh apple slices, walnuts, honey, crusty baguette slices, olives, and a glass of Chianti Popular Brands: Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano



A soft cow’s milk cheese from Normandy, similar to Brie but with slightly stronger, earthier flavors, Camembert cheeses are creamy and rich. Enjoy them with berries and stone fruits; nuts like hazelnuts and pecans; crusty baguette slices; and a touch of honey for a decadent treat. Popular Brands: Le Châtelain, Isigny Ste-Mère

Lesser-Known Selections

Exploring less common cheeses can add a unique twist to your charcuterie board. Here are some excellent choices that might surprise and delight your guests:


Flavor: A semi-soft Italian cheese with a strong aroma but surprisingly mild, fruity taste and a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth consistency.
Pairing: Great with crusty bread, figs, and cured meats.


Flavor: From the island of Menorca, this semi-hard cow’s milk cheese has a tangy, buttery flavor with a hint of salt from its coastal aging environment.
Pairing: Perfect with almonds, olives, and a drizzle of honey.


Flavor: This French cheese is washed in brandy, giving it a pungent aroma and a rich, creamy flavor that’s almost liquid at room temperature.
Pairing: Perfect with crusty bread, apples, and a glass of Burgundy wine.


Flavor:  A French cheese with a bright orange color and a flavor that’s both nutty, buttery, and caramel-like, aged for up to 24 months.
Pairing: Pairs well with apples, dried apricots, and dark chocolate.

Wedges of Mimolette cheese with a cheese knife on a wooden board.


Flavor: A hard Italian sheep’s milk cheese with a sharp, salty, and nutty flavor with a crumbly texture.
Pairing: Great with honey, pears, and roasted nuts.

Humboldt Fog

Flavor: This American goat cheese has a distinctive line of edible ash running through the middle, with a tangy flavor and creamy texture.
Pairing: Great with pears, honey, and crusty bread.


Flavor: Fontina cheese is a semi-soft, creamy, and mildly nutty cheese with a slight earthy flavor, perfect for melting and pairing with a variety of charcuterie board accompaniments.
Pairing: Pairs well with truffle salami, mushrooms, and olives.


Flavor:  A creamy blend of French soft-ripened triple cream cheese and Italian Gorgonzola, offering a mild blue cheese flavor.
Pairing: Lovely with grapes, crackers, and a glass of sparkling wine.

These unique and flavorful cheeses will add depth and variety to your charcuterie board, impressing your guests with their distinctive tastes and textures.

Slices of Cambozola cheese on a wooden board with rosemary sprigs.

Cheese Buying Tips

  • Variety: Choose a mix of soft, semi-soft, and hard cheeses with diverse flavors.
  • Familiar Choices: Include at least one familiar cheese like Cheddar or Brie for variety.
  • Seasonal Selection: Ask your cheesemonger for in-season recommendations.
  • Quality: Opt for fewer, high-quality cheeses over many average ones.
  • Samples: Request samples to taste before buying.
  • Reputable Source: Buy from trusted cheese shops with knowledgeable staff.
  • Portion Size: Plan for 1-2 ounces of cheese per person.

How to Slice and Serve

Soft Cheeses

Examples: Brie, Camembert, Triple Cream Cheese

  • Slicing: Cut into small wedges, similar to slicing a cake.
  • Serving: Place a whole wheel or half on the board with a small knife for spreading. Serve with fresh berries and grapes; honey and nuts; crusty bread or crackers; champagne or sparkling wine.

Semi-Soft Cheeses

Examples: Havarti, Muenster, Fontina

  • Slicing: Slice into thin squares or rectangles.
  • Serving: Arrange the slices in a fanned-out pattern. These cheeses are great for layering with meats or pairing with fruits.

Semi-Hard Cheeses

Examples: Cheddar, Gouda, Manchego

  • Slicing: Slice into thin squares, rectangles, or wedges. For Gouda and Manchego, thin wedges or small cubes work well.
  • Serving: Display the slices or wedges in neat rows or clusters. Pair with nuts, dried fruits, and honey.
Wedges of Pecorino cheese on a wooden board.

Hard Cheeses

Examples: Parmesan, Pecorino, Aged Gouda

  • Slicing: Break into irregular chunks or shave into thin pieces.
  • Serving: Scatter the chunks or place them in small piles. Use a different knife or cheese planer for shaving. Ideal for pairing with olives and cured meats.

Blue Cheeses

Examples: Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola

  • Slicing: Crumble or cut into small, bite-sized pieces.
  • Serving: Place crumbles in a small bowl or directly on the board with a small serving spoon. Or place a wedge on the board with a small knife for spreading. Pair with honey, figs, and walnuts.

Goat Cheeses

Examples: Chèvre, Humboldt Fog

  • Slicing: Log-shaped goat cheese can be sliced into discs; crumbly varieties should be left for spreading.
  • Serving: Place discs or crumbles on the board. Enhance with fresh herbs, honey, or fruit compotes.

By following these slicing and serving tips according to cheese texture, you can create a beautiful and tasty charcuterie board that showcases the unique qualities of each cheese.

Epoisses cheese with slices of bread.

And there you have it – crafting a charcuterie board with an assortment of top-notch cheeses, paired with complementary meats, fruits, and crunchies, is truly a special experience.

Whether you’re enjoying a quiet evening at home or hosting a vibrant get-together with friends, a charcuterie board offers more than just delicious bites; it creates a sense of community. It’s an opportunity to express creativity, explore diverse flavors, and highlight your unique style.

For more easy and fun charcuterie board ideas, check out our step-by-step guide for making a simple beautiful charcuterie board, our easy breezy summer charcuterie board, our cozy fall charcuterie board, our fresh seafood charcuterie board, and our DIY charcuterie bouquet with salami roses.

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