Cheese is a classic appetizer for dinner parties and other social events and one of its many potential pairings is with charcuterie. If you aren’t sure what charcuterie is, this is essentially a range of dry-cured and cooked meats. This is a French appetizer course that also includes smooth pates and sausages, mustards, crusty baguettes, pickles, and cornichons among other savory bites. It goes great with cheese and you can enjoy the combination of your favorite cheeses and charcuterie in a restaurant or at home. If you plan on making this at home, you will need to know what cheeses go best with it.
Get A Variety Of Cheeses
As with any other cheese platter, one that combines this dairy product with charcuterie should offer a range of textures. Ideally, you want a minimum of one soft cheese and at least one or two cheeses that are semi-firm. This way, guests can pick and choose the texture that they prefer.
Things To Avoid
While a variety of cheeses will work well in charcuterie, there are a few types that should be avoided. You won’t typically want to include smoked cheese as these flavors will be similar to those of the smoked sausages and other smoked meats already on your tray; you want complimentary flavors, not repeats. You should also opt for cheese that is unflavored, meaning nothing that has added garlic, herbs, or other similar enhancements.
The Best Cheese To IncludeNow that you know what to avoid, here are a few of the top cheeses to consider including in your charcuterie. If you want a soft cheese, consider Chevre, Camembert, or Brie as all of these will balance the flavors of the meats. Provolone is also an excellent choice since it has a smooth texture that contrasts with sausages. Opt for a Provolone that is either young or aged so you get mellow flavors. Gouda also goes well, either goat’s milk Gouda that is lightly colored or the cow’s milk variety that is slightly aged and the color of pale butterscotch. Going with a young Gouda is ideal as it will give you a smooth texture and buttery and milky flavor. Gruyere is another cheese made from cow’s milk that is great in charcuterie since its color and flavor both contrast with the dishes, delivering nutty, rich flavors. Finally, consider Manchego. This cheese made from sheep’s milk has a nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with the meats on the charcuterie.