Photo by Nina Gallant
The holiday season is here, and for us at culture, that means the excuse to indulge in special cheeses—those that are a bit more festive than the wheels and wedges we enjoy every day. As you might imagine, we often find that we’re the designated cheese person in the group and as a result we’re pretty good at curating the perfect selection for any gathering. Here are our favorite crowd-pleasing cheeses for your holiday cheese (or dinner) plate.
“The palates in my family range from always-up-for-something-new to uber-picky, so while no cheese will please everyone, I try to choose something that just might surprise the latter group. Cambozola, paired with honey, roasted walnuts, and juicy red grapes, has converted many a blue cheese doubter, but is still interesting enough for the adventurous. It’s also an excellent foil to another holiday favorite—local oysters on the half shell!” – Susan Sherrill Axelrod, Editor
“I love a rich double cream like Sweet Grass Dairy’s Green Hill. Make it festive with fig jam + glazed pecans, and wash it down with something bubbly.” – Mallory Scyphers, Creative Director
Churchtown Dairy Coperthwaite
“I look for a style of cheese my friends and family might not be familiar with. Coperthwaite is what I refer to as ‘baby’s first stinky cheese.’ It’s an approachable washed rind with a super creamy paste and sweet grassy notes. Pair it with Raincoast crisps and honey or onion jam for a bite that will delight everyone, even the cheese-averse.” – Josie Krogh, Digital and Social Media Editor
Culture founder Stephanie Skinner will be serving Roquefort at her holiday soirees. A French classic, this scrumptious sheep’s milk blue cheese is only made by seven producers, and Delphine Carles is the only female Roquefort maker. Pair it with a sweet desert wine for the perfect after dinner cheese course.
Okay so maybe this isn’t the cheese you want to put on a cheeseboard, but it is certainly a delicious conversation piece. Belper Knolle looks like a truffle, with deep savory flavors of garlic and pepper. It has a hard texture meant for crumbling or shaving. “I recently had JUMI Belper Knolle and am trying to find it locally! I really want to try [it] on pasta. It’s gotta be insane.” – Matt Thomas, Publisher
“I enjoy my own personal cheese plate to nosh on as I am cooking, especially when I will be in the kitchen a while. Saint Agur blue cheese gets tastier and creamier as it warms. Later that evening, when everyone is ready for a treat, I plate up a new wedge and serve it as a post-meal delight with Terrapin Ridge Raspberry Chipotle Sauce to make it festive.” – Natalie Herman, National Brand Manager