Did you know that Wisconsin cheesemakers produce more than 600 varieties of cheese? That's a lot to choose from! When putting together the perfect cheese board, it can be hard to decide which cheeses to feature. We're here to help narrow down your choices with our top 10 cheeses for cheese boards.
1. 5 Aged Cheddar
Starting off with our most popular cheese, our 5 Year Aged Cheddar is a must-have for any cheese board! This cheddar isn't your average cheddar - it's sharp, granular, slightly crumbly, with a just a hint of those delicious cheese crystals found in aged cheddar. Our 5 Year Aged Cheddar has a rich flavor and slightly tangy bite. Incredibly versatile, this cheddar will pair with a variety of accoutrements!
Try with: Fresh berries, wheat crackers, olives
2. Pleasant Ridge Reserve
The most-awarded cheese in American history, Pleasant Ridge Reserve is a must-have for any cheese board. Produced by Uplands Cheese, Pleasant Ridge Reserve is a true farmstead cheese, made from the milk of the cows kept and raised at Uplands. It is made only in the summer months, when the cows are grazing fresh pasture. This practice results in a complex flavor of rich and salty, with a long, fruity finish and layers of caramel and nuts throughout.
Try with: Whole grain crusty bread, pickled vegetables, smoked meats
3. Beer Cheese Milk Stout
Not only will our Beer Cheese Milk Stout delight your taste buds, this uniquely marbled cheese is visually-appealing with its bold, contrasting colors. This beautiful marbling is caused by the cheese curds soaking in Milk Stout beer, then pressed into a large block of cheese prior to aging. The result? An aesthetically pleasing, authentically Wisconsin cheese.
Try with: Roasted nuts, chocolate, fruit preserves
4. Marble Jack Blue
Monterey Jack meets blue cheese in this Wisconsin original cheese by Nasonville Dairy! A semi-soft cheese with a Monterey Jack texture, beautifully marbled with blue veins woven through the curd. Another visually stunning cheese, this Marble Jack Blue has a distinct blue cheese flavor softened by the addition of creamy jack cheese.
Try with: Cured meats, crusty bread, honey
5. Peppercorn Cheddar
Peppercorn Cheddar is a finely aged white Wisconsin cheddar cheese blended with cracked black peppercorn. Made by Henning's Cheese, this cheddar is produced in wheels then bandage wrapped. The aging process gives this cheddar a hint of Parmesan flavor, and its robust taste balances beautifully with the cracked black peppercorns.
Try with: Cured meats, fruit preserves, fresh berries
Muenster is a semi-soft cheese with a mild flavor and buttery, creamy texture. At room temperature, Decatur Dairy's Muenster melts in your mouth. Its brilliant orange exterior adds a beautiful pop of color to any cheese board.
Try with: Wheat crackers, dried or fresh fruits, cured meats
7. Cranberry Cheddar
Produced by Maple Leaf Cheese, this double milled cheddar cheese is mixed with cranberries from the bogs of northern Wisconsin. The combination of fruit and cheese gives this cheddar a tart yet sweet flavor.
Try with: Candied or roasted nuts, dried fruit, chocolate
8. Black Sheep Truffle Cheese
Produced by Carr Valley, this truffle cheese is made with sheep milk, then washed in truffle oil and aged over 6 months. Delicious bits of black truffle throughout give this cheese its sweet, earthy flavor. With a smooth and creamy texture, Black Sheep Truffle Cheese adds a depth of unique flavor to any cheese board.
Try with: Crusty bread, cured meats, olives
9. Premium Gouda
Just like Cheddar, Gouda gets more complex as it ages. The flavor becomes more robust, while the texture is firmer than a young gouda, and as it ages, cheese crystals begin to form throughout the paste. We love using Marieke Gouda's Premium Gouda, aged 12-18 months. The aging process really enhances the flavor notes, giving it a slightly sweet, nutty flavor with a smooth, creamy consistency.
Try with: Pears, dried cherries, chocolate
10. Farmer's Basil
Decatur Dairy's Basil Farmer's cheese is a semi-soft, creamy, mild flavored cheese with the addition of sweet basil. The basil adds a delicious, herbaceous flavor to the cheese, as well as a unique green pop of color to the white paste of the cheese. Its smooth, creamy texture is similar to Havarti.
Try with: Fresh tomatoes, olives, crusty bread
Select images courtesy of the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin