On Mon., Jun. 4, we all have the pleasure of
celebrating National Cheese Day — as if any of us needed yet another reason to enjoy the wonder that is cheese. This is just another excuse to gorge on your favorite different kinds of cheese, pair them with fruit, bread, and wine, and just generally enjoy yourself. And it's happening on a Monday, which is the perfect way to start off the week. But if you want to branch out and try something new rather than sticking to the same old stuff, this is an ideal time to do that. There are so many unique cheeses to try on National Cheese Day that settling on just one can be overwhelming! Of course, you can always settle on three, five, or more if you'd like! But we've narrowed down a few options for you.
Because, sure, popular options like mozzarella, Parmesan, burrata, Manchego, Gouda, and cheddar will always be delicious... but sometimes you want something new that feels more interesting. Plus, why limit yourself to only the cheese that you know when there are thousands of other kinds out there, just waiting to be eaten? It's silly not to expand your palette a bit! Instead of just opting for a different flavor of something you already like, go for something more creative.
Below is a mix of European and American cheeses that will definitely make your National Cheese Day celebration the best party ever. Serve these with some fruits, some wine (because obviously), and plenty of bread and crackers, and you're almost guaranteed to find a new favorite.
French Cheese Comté, $14.57, Markys.com
If you're a fan of Gruyère, you'll most likely enjoy Comté, which is similar. According to
, there are specific breeds of cows used to get the exclusive raw milk, found in Montbéliarde and French Simmental. Comté is is aged for as long as 18 months, sometimes more. While younger cheeses are super mild, older cheeses have a more complex flavor that has been described as smoother and less salty than Gruyère. It's not too bold, but it is very good. Serious Eats Herreño Cheese, 76.74 €, ConsorcioQuesos.com
Herreño is a Spanish cheese from the Canary Island of El Hierro. It's made of almost all goat's milk, with a little cow's and sheep's milk. The
wheels of cheese are smoked over wood from fig tries and trunks of prickly pear cactus. It's a cheese meant to be grilled, with a soft, melty inside and crusty outside, and it's best served with honey on top. If you're looking for something special and different, this is a great choice. Le Chevrot, $18.99, Murrays
Le Chevrot is a mold/yeast-ripened goat cheese that is covered in a yeasty rind. It is a fresh cheese produced in
Celles-sur-Belle village of Poitou-Charentes region in central western France. It's dense and creamy, with a fruity taste, and has a sweet, mellow flavor with nutty undertones. Tomme Crayeuse, $21.99, Murray's Cheese
This cow milk cheese is from
the Savoie in France. It's creamy like a Brie, but has a buttery flavor similar to mushrooms. It has a unique flavor and texture, with citrusy notes. Thanks to this truly different flavor, it will be unlike any cheese you've ever tried. Cabrales, $25.02, Markys
Cabrales cheese, sometimes known as Quesu Cabrales, Queso de Cabrales, or Cabraliego, is a Spanish semi-hard, fatty blue cheese.
It's a mix of raw cows, goats, and sheep's milk, and unlike other blue cheese, it cures from the outside of the cheese to the inward. Cabrales can be strong, with a sharp, acidic, and slightly salty flavor — it's great with wine, sausage, and fresh figs, and it's also ideal as a base for sauce. Epoisses 8oz, $26.99, Murray's Cheese
This French cheese is popular, but still super unique. It's been around for a long time and has a rich history —
supposedly Napoleon loved it and ate it with Chambertin wine — and is super interesting. It has a rich and powerful flavor with a distinct smell, and is a mix of sweet, salty, and creamy. With its creamy, chewy, and firm texture and soft red-orange color, it's definitely very different.
Sartori Reserve Espresso BellaVitano®
Espresso BellaVitano, $7.75, SartoriCheese.com
This cheese from the United States has
won many awards, for good reason. It's aged approximately 12 months, and is a semi-firm cheese made with BellaVitano Gold, then hand-rubbed with freshly ground espresso. It's savory, creamy, nutty, and fruity, with a wonderful sweetness. If you love coffee and cheese, you'll probably love this unique combination. Mt. Vikos Halloumi Cheese, $5.59, Jet.com
Halloumi cheese is super unique because of how hearty and substantial it is. In fact, grilled halloumi can often be mistaken for grilled chicken, and is served over salads or in sandwiches. It's a firm, salty cheese that is best eaten warmed or grilled. It has a savory bite with a slightly creamy texture, and it is really, really delicious.
Rosemary and Olive Oil Asiago
Rosemary and Olive Oil Asiago, $9 per pound, Trader Joe's
A cheese doesn't have to be fancy, expensive, and exclusive to be unique and delicious, of course. The Rosemary and Olive Oil Asiago from Trader Joe's is one of my personal favorites for its delicious flavor (and price point). It has a distinct, strong asiago flavor that is both nutty and salty. If you don't like rosemary, don't try this cheese — the flavor is definitely strong.
Champignon Cambozola Black Label, $25.99/LB, Murray's Cheese Cambozola is a triple cream, brie-style blue cheese made with pasteurized cow's milk in the German region of Allgäu. It looks kind of like Gorgonzola or Roquefort, but is more of a mix of Camembert and Gorgonzola. It's creamy, moist, rich, and sharp all at once, with a savory and nutty flavor that is also slightly sweet. Pyrénées Brebis, $29.99/Lb, Murray's Cheese
Sheep cheese is nothing new — Spanish Manchego and Italian pecorino are super popular in the U.S. But
Pyrénées Sheep stands out as a firm and smooth French cheese. It is sweet, nutty, grassy (in a good way), and full of subtle flavors. Neufchâtel, 8.80 €, Fromages.com
The cutest thing about Neufchâtel is the heart shape. It's been around since the 7th century, and
there's a legend that French farm girls used to give English soldiers the cheese to profess their love. Neufchâtel is a soft white table cheese that has a grainy texture covered in a soft rind. It has a similar taste to Camembert, which is mushroomy, nutty, and a little yeasty. Cellars at Jasper Hill Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, $29.99/Lb, Murray's Cheese
If you love a good cheddar cheese, try
clothbound cheddar. It's less sharp and more complex, with Earthy, caramel, and fruity flavors. It's wrapped in muslin or similar fabric and then sealed with a fat layer, which makes it drier and flakier than typical Cheddar. La Serena Cheese, 13.30 €, Club de Queso
Queso de la Serena is made of raw sheep milk and thistle rennet, with a very distinct and unique flavor. This cheese is from Southern Spain and Portugal, with
a range of flavors. Younger cheese is buttery, while older cheese is more bitter and creamy. Truffle Noire Gouda, $15.99, iGourmet
If you love the flavor of black truffles and you also love gouda, mix the two and try
Truffle Gouda. It's a Dutch Gouda cheese sprinkled with black truffle that tastes less sharp and sweet than other types of Gouda. The flavor of truffles is enhanced by the flavors of the cheese. It's fresh, creamy, and intense, with an earthy flavor. Casa Matias, Vino Veritas from Portugal, is a unique cheese made from milk from the ewes of the Portuguese Bordaleira. It's super creamy with an interesting flavor that is sour, substantial, fatty, and a little bit bitter. Casa Matias,