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Cheese Pairings: What Meats and Cheeses Go Together?

by Justin Christianson December 14, 2022 4 min read

Charcuterie board with artisan Wisconsin cheeses, jam, sausage, mustard, and crackers.

Use our meat and cheese pairing chart to find the best combinations of cheeses, meats, and other provisions. Knowing the best cheese pairings will make shopping easy.

Putting together a charcuterie board can be intimidating. Social media influencers and chefs frequently showcase over-the-top charcuterie boards that would likely take the average person hours to replicate. And shopping at specialty meat and cheese stores can add up. Knowing where to shop for the best cheeses and meats to build your board as well as how to highlight the best pairings can be challenging. 

Cheese Brothers is here to bring the art of pairing meat and cheese back down to earth and on budget. We offer a wide variety of homemade Wisconsin cheeses, meats, and specialty products available for purchase online and delivered directly to your home, including subscription deals to take the hassle out of shopping. 

Meat and Cheese Pairings

We know our customers are strapped for time and ready to nosh. We’ve already given you the rundown on the best cheese for wine. So, we put together a simple chart you can reference to find the best cheese and meat combos to make your charcuterie board the star at any cocktail party. Let’s get started.


Meat  Cheese
Salami is an Italian cured sausage made from dried meat, typically pork. Salami comes in many different flavors. Genoa Salami is particularly popular. It comes from Italy's Genoa region and is heavily flavored with garlic.
Gouda, cheddar, or provolone
Prosciutto is an Italian dry-cured ham that is sliced paper thin. It’s made from the hind legs of pigs.
Parmesan or Swiss
Pepperoni is one of the most popular pizza toppings and is a nice addition to any charcuterie. It’s a dry-cured spiced sausage made from beef and pork.
Chorizo is a heavily spiced cured pork sausage. While chorizo is widely available, it is commonly used in Mexican and Spanish fare.


Unique Pairings to Try

Meat and cheese are not the only pairing options. Ramp up the flavor at your next shindig by providing guests with some surprising duos to entice their taste buds. Here are a few we like at Cheese Brothers:
  • Blue Cheese and Fudge Brownies.It may not be your first instinct to pull out the cheese as you cut yourself a brownie. But the strong, salty flavor of blue cheese pairs well with the sweet treat.
  • Gouda and Raisin Bread.The sweet and creamy cow’s milk cheese is an ideal complement to fresh bread studded with raisins.
  • Cheddar and Kimchi.Kimchi is a fermented Korean dish made from cabbage, radishes, garlic, onion, and spices. The acidity of the kimchi complements a creamy cheddar. The current foodie favorite is a kimchi and cheddar grilled cheese.
  • Feta and Watermelon.Salty feta cheese is the perfect foil for sweet watermelon. Add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and you can call it a salad.

Pairings to Avoid

By now, it should be clear that Cheese Brothers likes to push the envelope when it comes to flavors. We believe cheese pairings truly depend on personal preference. There are no hard and fast rules. After all, Elvis Presley enjoyed peanut butter and banana sandwiches. And who are we to argue with the King? But there are some cheese pairings to shy away from.

We recommend avoiding pairing strong cheese and delicate wine. The cheese can diminish the flavor of the wine. Citrus fruit smells refreshing, but the aroma of both citrus and cheese will leave a bad taste in your mouth. It’s also a good idea to avoid combining spicy food and cheese. Both have strong flavors, and pairing them up can be overpowering.

Condiments Rule

In addition to meat and cheese, every charcuterie board should feature some condiments to add flavor and texture. Cheese Brothers adds Cherry Lavender Jam and Bier Hall Stone Mustard to many of its charcuterie packs. Other condiments to try are honey, marmalade, fig preserves, olive tapenade, or caramelized onion jam.

It’s also a good idea to add some crunch to your charcuterie board. Good additions are pickles, nuts, and fruit like apple slices or grapes. And don’t forget to round out your board by adding crackers or crostini.

Pandemic Propels Charcuterie Market

Demand for charcuterie products jumped following the pandemic outbreak as people spent more time making meals at home. 

The introduction of new flavors and focus on packaging helped put charcuterie on the map and gave customers greater access to high-quality options. Some retail stores even started showcasing their charcuterie fare as demand increased. GIANT, a 190-unit grocery store chain, added a charcuterie station at one of its Pennsylvania locations and plans to add stations at additional stores, according to Food Business News.

Now it looks like the popularity of charcuterie is here to stay. People are throwing parties where they provide the ingredients and give tutorials on how to build a picture-perfect charcuterie board. Others are taking the fun a step further by asking each guest to bring their own version of a charcuterie board. In addition to the traditional meat and cheese board, social media is filled with pictures of people showing off dessert boards, fast food boards, breakfast boards, and more. The options are limitless.

Where to Shop for Meats and Cheeses

At Cheese Brothers, our mission is to share the love of Wisconsin cheese with their customers. We give customers the option to build a custom box of goodies delivered on their schedule. Choose your cheese and specialty treats, then subscribe and pick your order frequency. You can cancel or change your subscription at any time.

We also offer gift bundles to help your friends and loved ones celebrate special occasions, such as retirement or a birthday. Visit the Cheese Brothers’ website to shop charcuterie boards and accoutrements and find out more about cheese pairings.

Justin Christianson
Justin Christianson

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