Mmm, cheese and crackers. It’s the ultimate snack. But just because you’re in the mood for fromage doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. The one-plate cheese plate is a thing of wonder, not to mention a low-cost (and low-effort) crowd-pleaser. We consulted Lauren McDowell, a cheesemonger and the former editor-in-chief of CheeseRank, to help you find the perfect grocery store pairings.
6 Perfect Cheese-and-Cracker Pairings You Can Get at Any Grocery Store
Extra-sharp Cheddar + Club Crackers
Here’s why it works: Club crackers are engineered to be the perfect amount of buttery and salty, which means that, sometimes, they’re all you can taste if paired with the wrong cheese. Extra-sharp (or farmhouse) cheddar has a distinct flavor—one that also happens to play well with others.
Brie-style Cheeses + Crostini
Not all creamy cheeses are created equal. A quick primer on Brie-style: True “Brie” is actually only made in France (that’s where the name comes from), which means that most of what we buy in the U.S. is actually just Brie-style. The good news: That doesn’t make it any less delicious. French-made Brie simply tends to have a more vegetal flavor; American-made tends to skew more buttery. Crostini is a great option because it’s firm enough to hold the weight without a flavor clash. Win-win.
Aged Gouda + Multigrain Crackers
The caramel and butterscotch flavors in Gouda make it taste like cheese candy. So it needs a cracker that can balance out the sweet, but also handle a sturdy cheese. Your favorite multigrain cracker will do the trick. It’s less yeasty than other crackers and its crunchiness will enhance the texture and flavor.
Gorgonzola + Multigrain Crisps With Berries
OK, blue cheeses can feel scary, but this is one combo even haters will love. Multigrain crisps infused with berries (like these Cranberry Oat Multigrain Crisps from Target) work to elevate the cracker and the cheese’s best qualities. Just keep in mind: With a fragile and flavor-packed cracker, it’s better to go with a blue cheese that’s creamy and sweet versus one that’s crumbly and tough to spread.
Taleggio + Rye Chips
This is basically a Reuben in cheese-and-cracker form. Yum. Taleggio—or any washed rind semi-soft cheese—tends to have a unique flavor that’s perfect with something stronger like rye. The creaminess of the cheese paired with the crispness of these crackers is like a textural (and tasty) windfall. You can’t go wrong.
Triple Cream + Water Crackers
Think of triple cream cheese as lighter and airier Brie-style cheese—that’s because it’s made with more than 75 percent butterfat. (Yep, that’s straight, creamy butter.) Water crackers are so light and thin that they’re a neutral vehicle to get all that deliciousness to your mouth. And that’s kind of the point, right?