Prosciutto is an excellent addition to any charcuterie board. It goes well with different kinds of food due to its rich flavor and texture. But, if you’re thinking about preparing a charcuterie board for your party, exactly what cheese goes well with prosciutto?
Look no further. In this article, I’ll discuss what types of cheese pair well with prosciutto, with the best ones being parmesan, asiago Vecchio, pecorino Toscana, provolone, feta, blue cheese, and halloumi, along with other food you can combine with it.
Table of Contents
What Cheese Pairs With Prosciutto?
When combining prosciutto with cheese, it’s essential to keep in mind the flavor profiles.
Prosciutto has a robust and rich flavor. However, due to its saltiness and strength, it can often overpower mild kinds of cheese.
If you want to achieve a balance between flavors, you should pair prosciutto with sharp, nutty, and deep flavors.
Since prosciutto comes from Italy, it pairs well with different kinds of Italian cheese. So, let’s take a look at types of cheese that go great with prosciutto.
Parmesan, or Parmigiano-Reggiano, is a type of Italian hard, granular cheese. It’s usually made from cow’s milk, and it takes at least 12 months to make it.
Parmesan is often called the ‘King of Cheeses.’ It has a strong, savory flavor and a rough texture. The only additive acceptable in making genuine parmesan is salt.
Parmesan and prosciutto pair well due to their similarities; both come from Italy, are aged to perfection, and only salt is used in the manufacturing process.
Their pungent flavors make them a perfect combination for creating cheese and meat plates. Besides that, they’re both used in different kinds of pasta and sauces.
Asiago is another kind of cheese from Italy. It’s produced with cow’s milk and has a slightly nutty flavor.
There are several varieties of Asiago, but the kind that pairs best with prosciutto is called Asiago Vecchio. This type of cheese is aged from 9-16 months.
It has a strong and somewhat bitter taste, and when paired with prosciutto, you get a bitter-salty combination.
Due to its pale-yellow color, Asiago Vecchio looks excellent combined with prosciutto, fruits such as cantaloupe or melon, and honey or marmalade. The sweetness balances out the bitterness of cheese.
Another Italian cheese that pairs well with prosciutto is Pecorino Toscano. This cheese is made from ewe’s milk.
Although you can eat it after only 20 days of maturing, it should be left for at least four months to achieve a firm, characteristic texture.
Pecorino Toscano is often used as a substitute for parmesan, making it excellent for accompanying prosciutto on a platter or charcuterie board. Like parmesan, it’s also great for grating and can be used in various kinds of pasta or soups.
This cheese also melts well, so if you want to combine prosciutto and melted Pecorino Toscano on a slice of fresh bread, you won’t go wrong.
Provolone is made from cow’s milk, and it can be aged from a few months to over a year.
If you want to combine provolone with prosciutto, look for more mature varieties. The more it matures, the more intense the flavor.
Provolone can often be smoked, and this can also be a great combination with prosciutto.
Since it’s excellent when melted, it’s perfect for making provolone and prosciutto panini. You’ll enjoy the combination of strong flavors mixed with sourdough bread.
The pungent aroma of blue cheese makes it perfect for combining with prosciutto.
The distinct flavor comes from the mold called penicillium. It has a strong smell and a rough texture, which make it very unusual.
There are different types of blue cheese, but the most famous is Italian gorgonzola. It’s made from unskimmed cow’s milk and has a distinctive blue-veined look. The salty flavor is what makes it great for combining with prosciutto.
If you want to serve it on a plate, you can crumble the cheese to make it look more interesting.
There are other kinds of blue cheese, such as the English stilton or French Roquefort. Due to their pungent, strong aroma, both go well with prosciutto.
It’s up to you to choose which one you like best!
Let’s travel from Italy to Greece. Feta is a type of white cheese made from sheep’s milk.
It’s soft and compact with no holes and aged in brine. When it comes to flavor, it’s tangy, salty, and intense.
Due to its Mediterranean origin, it’s great when served with olive oil and oregano.
The flavors of feta and prosciutto mix great when served together on a plate. Both have a strong, creamy flavor, and besides being served on plates, they can be used for making light pasta, pizza, rolls, etc.
While we’re in Greece, it’s impossible not to mention halloumi and its savory taste.
It’s made from goat’s and sheep’s milk, and sometimes even cow’s milk. Due to its high melting point, halloumi is suitable for frying or grilling.
This makes it a great addition to salads, sandwiches, or meats like prosciutto.
Halloumi is stored in its own juices and is often garnished with mint.
This combination with prosciutto allows you to create a light meal with bursts of flavor.
How to Build a Charcuterie Board With Prosciutto
Now that we’ve covered what cheeses go well with prosciutto, you might want to think about combining the two on a charcuterie board.
Building the perfect platter can be tricky, but if you know what to pay attention to, it can be fun, and the result is delicious.
If you want to learn how to do it, or you lack inspiration, check out what you need to consider:
Choose a platter – the most popular materials for charcuterie boards are wood and marble. Depending on the elements of the board, you should choose the shape and size.
Choose the bowls – by choosing the right dishes, you’re creating structure on your board. If you want to include dips, nuts, or fruit on your board, you’ll need bowls. Choose a size that won’t stand out too much but still be effective in creating texture.
Choose the meat – besides prosciutto, you should include other kinds of cured meat. Some of the popular choices include pancetta and mortadella.
Choose the cheese – once you’ve chosen the meat, you can decide what types of cheese you will include on your board. If you want to play with textures, you can include hard, creamy, and blue cheese. This will make your board look colorful, and your guests will have a range of options to choose from.
Choose the crunch – you should include crackers or bread on your board, especially if you have dips or soft cheese.
Choose the produce – you’ll make your board colorful and balanced by adding different kinds of fruit and veggies. Cherry tomatoes, grapes, olives, melon slices, you name it: they will make your board interesting while balancing the strong, salty flavors of cheese and meat.
Choose the dip – adding a dip to your charcuterie board is an excellent finishing touch. By adding honey or jam, you enhance the flavors and create unusual but well-balanced combinations.
With so many different products and textures, it’s hard to make the first step and start building your board. Here’s what to do:
- Structure – fill the small dishes with dips, nuts, spreads, etc., and situate them across the board.
- Cheese – place the cheeses around the board. Allow yourself to play with the structures. You can add a large chunk of one kind of cheese, crumble another one, cut the third one into small, even pieces, etc. This will make your board interesting and rustic.
- Meat – now that you’ve added cheese, you can place the meat around it. As with cheese, you can play with shapes and structures. For example, you can twist the meat, spread it around the board, put it on toothpicks, etc.
- Crunch – add stacks of bread or crackers. If the board looks a bit messy, it means you’re doing it right.
- Produce – fill the gaps on the board with fruits, veggies, herbs, etc. You can use both fresh and dry produce. The most common fruits and veggies used in charcuterie boards are grapes, radishes, melons, cantaloupes, strawberries, etc. When it comes to dried fruits, the popular choices are apricots, peaches, plums, dates, cherries, etc.
- If you want, you can add small knives or spoons to your board to make it easier to grab dips and spreads.
You should keep in mind that charcuterie boards are usually served at room temperature.
Also, make sure you always have enough food to refill your board. Prepare the extra portions, keep them in the fridge, and take them out once the board empties.
Now you know what cheese goes well with prosciutto. Although parmesan is the most common choice, prosciutto can be combined with various kinds of cheeses.
So, if you’re looking for a way to combine the two and impress your friends, you can create a charcuterie board that everyone will enjoy.