Nearly every region in the U.S. has its own artisanal cheese makers who specialize in creating delicious cheese. You can find everything from local producers to international varieties in our cheese case at the St. Peter Food Co-op. That’s right, we’re giving you permission to enjoy all the cheese your heart desires this winter. Time to start tasting and build the perfect charcuterie board for the holidays!
Powerful and aromatic, blue cheeses are sharp and salty, with textures that vary from creamy smooth to dense and crumbly. Their color is not for the faint of heart—blue cheeses can come in white or yellow with blue, gray, or green veins.
- Try it on a baguette with sliced pears and toasted walnuts.
- Cooking mellows blue cheese out—try it on pizza, in grilled cheese, and on burgers.
- To store it, double-wrap in wax or parchment paper, then plastic wrap (or a storage container), and store it in the refrigerator. Use within a few days of purchase.
- For your charcuterie board: Pair with dried fruits, pears, apples, melon, olives, and grapes.
Creamy, buttery, delicious brie. One ounce contains about 6 grams of protein and 100 calories. Dubbed the “King of Cheeses” at an international cheese competition back in 1815, brie definitely deserves a place of honor at your holiday table.
- Try baked brie or drizzle it with honey or balsamic vinegar.
- Brie will add depth to dishes featuring eggs, beef, chicken, prosciutto, ham, salami or cured meats.
- Store it tightly wrapped in cheese or parchment paper in the refrigerator. Serve it at room temperature (or warm), by the wedge or by the wheel, with the rind—which adds flavor—intact.
- For your charcuterie board: Pair with apples, pears, berries, strawberries, grapes, cranberries, cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, marmalade, fruit spreads, walnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios, pine nuts, flavored havarti, and sharp yellow cheddar.
This semi-hard, rich, and slightly crumbly cow’s milk cheese is the most widely produced and eaten cheese in the world. Depending on how long your cheddar has been aged, it can range from sweet and grassy to sharp.
- Cheddar is at its best when paired with broccoli: Broccoli Cheese Soup, Broccoli Cheddar Frittata, Broccoli and Cheddar Rice Casserole.
- Store it in the refrigerator wrapped in cheese or parchment paper. Cheddar should keep for two months or more.
- For your charcuterie board: Pair cheddar with apples, pears, grapes, dried fruits, ham, apple butter, mustard, chutneys, horseradish, and salsa
Gouda can be aged anywhere from a few weeks to over seven years, developing a caramel sweetness as it ages. Older goudas are saltier, more pungent, and harder. It’s smooth, creamy texture is due to gouda’s high fat content (usually made from cow’s milk but there are some delicious goat’s milk goudas as well).
- Distinctive enough to serve alone on top of a cracker.
- When purchasing, watch the wax: Young goudas (aged 1-6 months) are usually wrapped in red or yellow wax, mature goudas (aged up to 7 years) are usually wrapped in black wax, and goat cheese goudas are usually wrapped in white wax.
- For your charcuterie board: Pair gouda with cheddar, jack, pears, apples, cherries, basil, garlic, and mushrooms.
That slightly crunchy texture in parmesan comes from tiny crystals created when proteins are broken down during the aging process. The longer parmesan is aged, the more complex its flavor becomes.
- Ideal for risottos, sauces, mashed potatoes, tomato soups, and with seafood and chicken.
- To store, wrap loosely or place in a plastic container in the refrigerator.
- For your charcuterie board: Pair parmesan with soft mozzarella, black olives, pears, aged balsamic vinegar, dipping oils, stuffed mushrooms, garlic, black pepper, arugula, and pesto.