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Home for the Holidays: How to brighten the season with cheese

Updated December 1, 2021

For this second holiday season of the pandemic, many of us are still avoiding large gatherings to stay safe. If you’re preparing to hunker down with family or a few close friends, here are some ideas for how to prioritize joy and reimagine traditions—naturally, they all involve lots of cheesy goodness. 

Gather with your cheese community via virtual classes

Cheese shops like Murray’s are hosting virtual classes on cheesemaking, pairing, and building cheese boards that will feel like a holiday party from the comfort of your home. It’s a great way to learn, savor, and enjoy the season of indulgence while mingling with the community from a safe distance. (You can also check out cheese shops near you—many local businesses are hosting similar events!)

…Or keep it small with a private event

If you’re looking to treat yourself and your loved ones to an intimate and safe experience this season, Cheese Grotto is offering private virtual classes and tastings to bring everyone together. Learn how to make mozzarella and ricotta with ease, or be guided through an artisan tasting by a cheese expert. 

Show your love with a homemade gift

A gift of cheese or cheeses is always appreciated, but by spending an afternoon in your kitchen you can present something even more meaningful. Such as Dark Chocolate Stilton Truffles packaged in a pretty box; Spiced Apple Ginger Fruit Cheese paired with a favorite wedge; a jar of Manchego and Marcona Almond Spread or a gift bag filled with Pistachio-Sharp Cheddar Shortbread.

Try a hot cheese recipe

If you’ve never thrown a whole wheel of brie in the oven with seasonal toppings during the holidays, this’ll be the perfect year to try it. This recipe for Honey-Baked Brie with Figs and Pistachios evokes a Mediterranean flavor with a Middle Eastern flair, allowing you to savor the cultures of the world without boarding a flight. Or, if you’re hosting a small group outdoors, conjure some smoky magic by melting a wheel over your firepit—it’ll blow any s’mores you’ve had right out of the water.

Whip up some special holiday cocktails

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—and the long-awaited end of 2020—so why not have that second (or third) cocktail (you’re not driving, anyway)? We have plenty of festive and boozy drink recipes—like hot buttered rum, eggnog, and prosecco sparklers—that’ll keep the party going all December long. And if you’re looking for festive cheese pairings, we’ve got some tasty (and aesthetically pleasing) ideas that will transport you to an upscale lounge right from your living room. 

Get baking!

Baking during the holidays is a no-brainer. But incorporating more cheese in your favorite desserts will really change the game. These cream cheese dessert recipes are a great way to start: they’re simple, creamy, and will satisfy everyone in the family. Or—if you’re looking for something more unusual—these Aged Gouda Sandwich Cookies have a unique complexity that combines everything you love about sugar and cheese. 

Check out our Ultimate Cheese-Lovers Holiday Gift Guide

It is the season of giving, so rekindling the holiday spirit during these times might be as easy as sending thoughtful gifts to the people you love. If you have lots of turophiles and foodies in your life, our Ultimate Cheese-Lovers Holiday Gift Guide  has more than 50 gifts for the loved ones on your list…or for yourself (the season of giving isn’t just reserved for other people, right?).

This post was originally published on Dec. 17, 2020, and updated on Dec. 1, 2021

Monica Petrucci

Monica is Culture's former Social Media Editor. Coming from a formaggio-obsessed Italian family, she was very excited to combine her passions for cheese and writing at Culture. She loves experimenting in the kitchen and pairing wine and cheese in her spare time.

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