Cheese, please: affordable options for everyday cheese connoisseurs
By Alison Glander
Whether you have a valentine or not, Valentine’s Day is a time to treat yourself. For those of you unwilling to brave the crowds to have a bite to eat, a cheese board is a fun, classy indulgence you can prepare at home to either enjoy by yourself or use to impress that special someone. Plus, you won’t be breaking the bank by ordering one at a restaurant.
The quintessential cheese board has a combination of three firmnesses of cheese – soft, medium-firm, and hard cheese. If you’re up for a challenge, try to find cheese made with each type of milk — cow, goat, and sheep’s milk.
Here are recommendations for affordable, tasty cheeses you can find at any local grocery store to put on your next cheese board. It’s usually cheaper to buy them whole and slice them yourself, and that way you’ll also get multiple servings out of each block. Have fun and make it your own by adding crackers, salami, grapes, and nuts as well as condiments such as honey and jam to your platter.
Président Brie Wedge – A melt-in-your mouth cheese with a buttery and creamy flavor. Also comes in an easy-to-cut log form. Around $5.99.
Montchevre Fresh Goat Cheese – A smooth, rich cheese made with high quality goat’s milk. Comes in various flavors such as garlic and herb or fig and olive. Around $4.99.
Safeway Deli Counter Smoked Gouda – This cheese exclusive to Tom Thumb has a nutty, smoky flavor and is a good quality for the price. Around $5.99.
Trader Joe’s Medium Cheddar – Trader Joe’s medium cheddar is sharp enough to have a tangy flavor. However, it is also mild enough to pair well with any of your favorite fruits. Around $6.99.
Kerrygold Dubliner – This Irish cheese combines flavors of mature Cheddar, sweet Swiss and the bite of Parmesan to create a well-rounded flavor. Around $6.99.
BelGioioso Parmesan – This cheese has a full, nutty flavor after being aged for 10 months. Around $5.99.
Exact prices of the cheeses may vary per grocery store.