’Twas the Cheese Before Christmas: 12 Cheese Roundup

If you follow us on our social channels, you know we’re wrapping up 12 straight days of delicious cheeses for the holiday season. Here’s a roundup of all the cheeses – a great resource for your shopping list, whether that’s for party-hosting or gift-giving. Each of these cheeses are made in America – so consider it supporting local!

To make a fantastic holiday charcuterie board, just select three to five of these cheeses, add a handful of nuts, some crackers, one to two sliced meats and some dried cranberries. Arrange on a wooden cutting board, holiday tray or your favorite serving ware. Need more inspiration? Follow the #charcuterieboard hashtag on Instagram.

Ancho Chile Caciotta
Ancho Chile Caciotta poem

Ancho Chile Caciotta by Mozzarella Company

Mozzarella Company describes this caciotta as a Texas version of Monterey Jack.

  • Tasting Notes: Mild tang, smoky spice
  • Pairings: Melons, mango, olives, jalapeños
  • Firmness: Semisoft

 

Rogue Creamery’s blue cheese
Rogue Creamery’s blue cheese poem

Rogue River Blue by Rogue Creamery

This special summer edition of Rogue Creamery’s blue cheese is wrapped in grape leaves that have been soaked in pear brandy.

  • Tasting Notes: Sharp, pungent, slightly sweet
  • Pairings: Honey, figs, walnuts
  • Firmness: Soft

 

Cello Riserva Artisan Parmesan by Schuman Cheese
Cello Riserva Artisan Parmesan by Schuman Cheese poem

Cello Riserva Artisan Parmesan by Schuman Cheese

This Parmesan was an award-winner for Schuman Cheese.

  • Tasting Notes: Nutty, salty, medium tang
  • Pairings: Apples, sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary
  • Firmness: Hard

 

Muenster Natural Cheese
Muenster Natural Cheese poem

Muenster Natural Cheese by H-E-B

This Muenster from grocery brand H-E-B is a whole milk cheese for a richer flavor (it can be found at Central Market, too).

  • Tasting Notes: Mild, creamy
  • Pairings: Melted on bread, tuna or quesadillas
  • Firmness: Semisoft

 

Dill Havarti
Dill Havarti poem

Dill Havarti by Roth Cheese

Roth doesn’t normally like to interfere with the pure flavor of their havarti, but a hint of herb was the perfect addition to this award-winning cheese.

  • Tasting Notes: Mild, creamy, a kick of citrus and anise
  • Pairings: Radishes, smoked salmon, capers
  • Firmness: Semisoft

 

Mt Tam Triple Cream
Mt Tam Triple Cream poem

Mt Tam Triple Cream by Cowgirl Creamery

Double cream was not good enough for this brie: triple cream, or nothing! And unlike most soft cheeses, it’s pasteurized, so it’s safe for pregnant ladies.

  • Tasting Notes: Creamy, mildly pungent
  • Pairings: Apricots, blackberries, honey, candied walnuts
  • Firmness: Soft

 

45-Day Red Wax Gouda
45-Day Red Wax Gouda poem

45-Day Red Wax Gouda by Central Market

Gouda starts mild, but gets tangier as it ages. At 45 days, this Gouda is just between “young” and “young matured” – so, just beginning to be tangy.

  • Tasting Notes: Mild, creamy, fudgy
  • Pairings: Melons, cured meats, bread, mustard
  • Firmness: Medium-hard

 

Habanero White Cheddar
Habanero White Cheddar poem

Habanero White Cheddar by Cabot Creamery

This white cheddar has two kinds of kick: the tangy kick of a sharp cheese and the hot kick of habanero. Plus, it’s naturally lactose-free.

  • Tasting Notes: Tangy, sharp, hot
  • Pairings: Cured meats, mango, melon
  • Firmness: Semihard

 

Clothbound Cheddar
Clothbound Cheddar poem

Clothbound Cheddar by Cabot Creamery

Ripened at the famous Jasper Hill Farm for 9-14 months, this cheddar was the American Cheese Society's 2006 Best of Show.

  • Tasting Notes: Slightly tangy, deeply savory, caramel finish
  • Pairings: Apple jelly, chestnut honey, cured meats
  • Firmness: Hard

 

Natural Smoked Gouda
ANatural Smoked Gouda poem

Natural Smoked Gouda by Kindred Creamery

This Gouda by Kindred is naturally smoked, adding that extra special something to an already toothsome cheese.

  • Tasting Notes: Creamy, nutty, smoky
  • Pairings: Cranberry relish, pears, brown mustard
  • Firmness: Medium-hard

 

Natural Yogurt Cheese
Natural Yogurt Cheese poem

All-Natural Yogurt Cheese by Henning's Wisconsin Cheese

This is an unusual version of yogurt cheese, with a similar tangy taste, but a harder, Jack-like texture than the yogurt cheeses you may have had before.

  • Tasting Notes: Tangy, creamy
  • Pairings: Sweet bell peppers, pickles, cucumber
  • Firmness: Semihard 

 

Aged Cheddar
Aged Cheddar poem

Aged Cheddar by Henning's Wisconsin Cheese

This cheddar, aged more than six months, is part of a cheese legacy: a creation of third-generation licensed master cheesemaker Kerry Henning.

  • Tasting Notes: Sharp, tangy, nutty
  • Pairings: Roasted red peppers, whole grain mustard, black olives
  • Firmness: Hard

Learn more about cheese pairing:

By Elizabeth Hurst

Elizabeth has been working for dairy farmers at Dairy MAX since 2017. She has a background in marketing and public relations and loves helping tell the dairy story. When she's not working, Elizabeth can be found playing with her son and making our moist banana bread recipe. Learn more about Elizabeth