One of the most important things to do when preparing for your next charcuterie board is to pick out a variety of unique cheeses. Big shocker, right? So, you are planning to make a cheese board, where do you start? I typically head straight to Trader Joe’s to see what selection of cheeses they currently have, and I build my board off of that. When picking out cheeses, especially when this board is for guests, I typically grab fun simple favorites that I know even my pickiest guests will like, and then I venture out and find some unique, fun cheeses that they may have not tried before.
1. Double Cream Brie
Brie is the simple staple to every good cheese board. It pairs well with any kind of jam, and my new favorite pairing option- hot honey. Trader Joe’s just released their own version of hot honey and I have to say, I am a fan! It is the perfect mix of sweet and spicy for your board. Brie can either be sliced, left as a piece of the wheel, or check out our blog post on Brie Cutouts HERE to learn how to customize your cheeseboard even more.
2. Coastal Cheddar
Coastal Cheddar is one of my absolute favorite cheeses and I make sure to include it on every board I make. Coastal Cheddar is an English rugged aged white cheddar, and it can be broken up into small pieces on your cheese board to add a rough, jagged texture to your charcuterie board. Coastal Cheddar is a great option for your next board because it has a similar taste to white cheddar, meaning it is great for guests who aren’t quite ready to venture out to try the more unique flavors.
Manchego is a sheep’s milk cheese that is imported from Spain. It is commonly identified by its natural brown rind. It is said that a good cheeseboard has cheeses made from the three kinds of milks- cow’s, sheep’s, and goat’s milk. Manchego is our sheep’s milk option, and you would never guess that it is sheep’s milk! Another benefit of Manchego is that sometimes guests who struggle with lactose intolerance, can typically have Manchego, because the sheep’s milk doesn’t affect them like cow’s milk does!
4.Blueberry Vanilla Goat
Often people are thrown off by the idea of goat’s cheese, especially if they have never had it before. Even I was hesitant to try it at first, but let me tell you, this Trader Joe’s specialty cheese changes the game for goat cheese. I would even go so far as to say that it tastes like blueberry cheesecake, yes, it is THAT GOOD. I always tell our guests to try it, even if they don’t like goat cheese, and I can honestly say I have never had someone come back and say they didn’t like it after trying it. So, don’t knock goat cheese out of the picture until you try this. I use a cheese wire to slice the log of goat cheese into beautiful, individual pieces for each of your guests. I have linked the cheese wire HERE.
5. Cotswold Double Gloucester Cheese with onions and chives
Last, but definitely not least, Cotswold Double Gloucester Cheese is a hidden gem in the Trader Joe’s cheese case. Often in our in person charcuterie classes, we bring this creamy, semi-soft cheese for guests to taste. The first question we ask them after trying it is “What other food does this remind you of?” The most common answer (and we agree with this answer too) – sour cream & onion chips! So don’t let the long name fool you, this cheese is truly something that a guest of every age can and will enjoy!
6. Le Délice de Bourgogne
I’ve heard it described as “cheese frosting,” Délice de Bourgogne is a triple cream soft cheese. It has a similar appearance to brie, but it contains a much richer, buttery taste! Delice de Bourgogne would be a great addition to either a brunch, traditional charcuterie, or dessert board. Some great options to try this yummy, sweet cheese on are Trader Joe’s Almondina or Fig & Olive Crisps both make great pairings with Délice.
7. White Stilton Cheese with Apricots
White Stilton is a crumbly, English cheese with a similar taste and look as white cheddar. Many kinds of white stilton may include different kinds of dried fruits, but my personal favorite is the dried apricots, but I have also seen them with blueberries, lemon, etc. In the past, Trader Joe’s has had a variety of other kinds of white stilton, like cranberry and mango, but you will have to check your local store to see if they carry it, as flavors like the cranberry one are seasonal! I definitely suggest that you head to Trader Joe’s. Murray’s Cheese Shop, or a local cheese shop to try out the different kinds of White Stilton to find your personal favorite!
There are so many other great cheese options for you to try out on your next Trader Joe’s run, so I always suggest that if you see a kind of cheese that sounds interesting, buy a small chunk of it and try it out. You never know which cheese could be your new favorite. Make sure to click HERE for our Amazon Storefront for a full list of all of our Trader Joe’s favorites to pair with all of these cheeses.
Feel comfortable and confident to build your own charcuterie board by following along on our online course, Charcuterie Made Simple. This one time purchase, will give you all the tricks and tools you need to feel comfortable and confident to build your own charcuterie board for your next event.
*All prices are approximate and may vary between stores