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How to Build the Perfect Thanksgiving Cheese Plate

Thanksgiving might be known as “Turkey Day,” but there’s another crucial centerpiece that shouldn’t be overlooked this holiday: the cheese board. Whether you put it out before, after, or in place of dinner (no judgment—it is 2020), a Thanksgiving cheese board is the perfect opportunity to showcase new wedges, seasonal accompaniments, and traditional favorites for the family to enjoy. If you have no idea where to start when it comes to curating the perfect Fallcuterie board (yes, it’s a thing!), we’ve got some guidance for gathering some tried-and-true staples.

Seasonal cheeses

The beginning of the holiday season is also the start of winter cheese season, when highly sought-after wheels like Vacherin Mont D’Or and Rush Creek Reserve are made available for a limited time. If you can get your hands on one in time for the big day, make it the star of your cheese board, with a crusty baguette close by.

In-season fruits

Savor autumn’s fruit harvest on your cheese plate. Carefully arrange freshly sliced apples and pears, or sprinkle juicy pomegranate seeds around your board. If you’re low on fresh produce, you can also add dried fruits like figs, cranberries, and dates that are reliably delicious cheese partners. (Click here for some beginner tips on pairing fruit with cheese.)

Cranberry goat cheese

A log of fresh chèvre coated with spices and fruits is never a bad idea, but it’s especially welcome when it features seasonal flavors like cranberries. LaClare Family Creamery recently released an 8oz Rolled Cranberry Cinnamon goat cheese log that’s big enough for seconds. If logs aren’t your thing, grab a slice of Le Chevrefeuille’s Cranberry Goat Cheeseit’s soft, creamy, and dotted with flavorful dried cranberries throughout.

Pumpkin spice spread

Pumpkin season is almost over—enjoy it while you still can with a jar of PSL-like goodness.  Bumbleberry Farms Pumpkin Spice Honey Cream spread is like pumpkin pie on a spoon; spread it on sharp cheddar for a deliciously contrasting combo, or pair it with brie for a decadent bite. 

Crunchy accompaniments

Crackers are a necessity on any cheese board; look for Leslie Stowe’s limited-edition Pumpkin Spice Crackers or Rustic Bakery’s Fruitcake Crisps for crispy holiday excellence. You can also add texture to your board with some flavorful nuts—think DIY toasted hazelnuts or candied pecans. If you’re candying nuts at home, try incorporating maple syrup or apple cider in the recipe to amp up the fall flavor. 

Other tips

Every cheeseboard is one-of-a-kind, so make sure yours reflects the snackers. Showcase a variety of wheels and wedges that will satisfy your whole family—grab some flavored cheddar for the kids, get that funky blue for yourself (even if no one else will eat it!), and splurge on the artisan crackers—it’s a day for indulgence, after all. 

Thanksgiving is also a great reminder to support American cheesemakers and food producers who’ve been struggling to keep up after a devastating year. So head to some online shops, pile on what you can, and savor every bite of your unique Fallcuterie masterpiece. 

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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