Have you ever been intimidated by foreign-looking cheeses? It took a trip to France for me to become more adventurous with cheese, but it paid off enormously! Here are 7 cheeses you may find on a charcuterie board.
BRIE. Basically, the gateway cheese. It’s a soft cow’s milk cheese under a white mould rind, and has a very mild taste. (Don’t be afraid - eat the rind too!) The French knew what they were doing when this cheese was invented. I can’t get enough of it!
GOUDA. This is another mild-flavored cow’s milk cheese, but it is semi-hard. You’ll often see smoked versions in stores. This one came from the Netherlands and is one of the most popular cheeses worldwide. I’d say the smoked version is a little crazy, but I have tried a mango habanero Gouda that was to die for.
CHEDDAR. Ah, a familiar name. This is a hard cheese with often a sharp taste. This cheese originated in England and is the most popular type of cheese in the UK. In the US, it’s right behind mozzarella. Sharp cheddar definitely has its place in my book.
SWISS. Before anyone tells me they don’t like Swiss, I have to say: there is a BIG difference between American Swiss cheese and authentic Swiss cheese. I thought I hated it, but I had it in France and totally changed my mind. Swiss is a medium-hard cheese identified by holes known as eyes, and can have a slightly stronger taste, depending on the type you try.
COMTÉ. This is another semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk, and it is SO good. It comes from the far eastern region of France that borders Switzerland. Gruyère is very similar, in case you’re more familiar with that name. You can eat the rind on comté, but I usually don’t.
GOAT. My favorite thing about this kind of cheese is how creamy it is. It has its own unique taste, and comes in a variety of flavors. I've been known to include an herbed goat cheese on a charcuterie board here and there. I think it’s divine.
BLEU. It has a reputation of being a very strong cheese, and not great for everyone. My advice is to try to get a free sample of a milder bleu and give it a shot! I suggest Stilton. It’s a creamy, semi-soft cheese.
What cheeses are your go-tos? What can you not live without on a charcuterie board? Let us know in the comments! And share with a friend who needs to branch out with cheese. 😂