We just relaunched our cheese subscription box program, and we’re so excited to share all the artisan goodies we have in store for folks who sign up! One of our favorite parts of this process has been selecting all the tasty accompaniments—like olives, jam, and of course pickles—we’re going to send along with some of the best American artisan cheeses out there.
Here’s what you need to know about the best pickle brands we’re sourcing for our subscription box, plus how to pair their products with cheese.
How Pickles Are Made
Vinegar pickles are acidified directly with vinegar and salt (and, in the case of bread and butter pickles, for example, sometimes sugar). They must be canned with heat to be made shelf-stable.
Fermented pickles are preserved in salt brine. This allows beneficial bacteria on the produce to develop lactic acid, creating tart flavors and preserving the food in the process. They remain raw and must be stored in the refrigerator.
In addition to the flavors of the produce being pickled and acidity and saltiness from the pickling process, pickled fruits and vegetables can also be flavored with aromatics like garlic, fresh or dried herbs, and spices.
How to Pair Pickles and Cheese
Bright, crunchy pickles provide a welcome foil for cheese. Their acidity cuts through rich, creamy cheese in your mouth, refreshing the palate for your next bite.
We love classic dill cucumber pickles with sharp cheddar, for instance, but just about every style of cheese can be complemented with the right pickle. Delicate pickled blueberries go well with fresh cheeses like chevre or fromage blanc, while the rich sweetness of pickled cherries provides contrast with pungent, salty blue cheese. Tart cornichons and savory pickled onions are traditional with Alpine cheeses like Gruyere and Raclette.
When serving pickles and cheese, allow your pickles to drain before placing them directly onto your cheese board to keep everything nice and dry. You may also choose to serve pickles in a pinch bowl (or in their original jar) to catch any excess liquid.
Portion size matters, too. You can freestyle it and let eaters manage the size of their own pieces—just include knives so they can cut spears into small bites—or pre-cut larger pickles into slices or batons to keep things balanced. Don’t forget to include a small serving fork or spoon so your guests can grab a pickle easily.
How We Source Pickles for Our Cheese Subscription Box
We at Cheese Grotto have been enjoying artisan pickles for years—and now, with our new subscription box, we get to put that knowledge into practice!
We look for small-scale U.S. producers who make their own unique, high-quality products from start to finish. We also support makers who source local produce from farms in their area when possible—and, of course, we love a woman-owned craft food company.
How Our New Cheese Subscription Box Program Works
Trying new artisan cheeses from small-scale American makers has never been easier! Our monthly cheese subscription sends 3 luscious wedges curated by our team right to your door each month. You can add on crackers and 3 hand-picked gourmet accompaniments to pair with your cheeses for a complete tasting in a box each month.
We designed it to be flexible and easy to customize, too. Not a fan of goat cheeses or blues? Need nut-free, vegetarian, or gluten-free accompaniments? Just let us know on the product page when you subscribe!
The Best Pickle Brands to Eat With Cheese
Great pickles are a cheese board essential. These are the best American pickle brands we’ve found, and we’ll be including rotating seasonal selections from these producers in our subscription.
One of the longest-running artisan pickle companies, New York-based Rick’s Picks pickles everything from beets to okra to green beans in flavors like Classic Sour, Cumin-Lime, and Spicy Sriracha.
Small Town Cultures
A woman-owned company, Small Town Cultures produces raw, fermented pickles in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. We can’t wait to share favorites like their pickled red onions and pickled jalapenos with subscribers.
Happy Girl Kitchen
After learning traditional pickling on a farm in Norway, the founders of Happy Girl Kitchen put their skills into practice while farming organically on California’s Central Coast. We’re excited about their spicy carrots, curry cauliflower, and bread and butter zucchini pickles.
Pacific Pickle Works
The pleasantly spicy asparagus spears, Brussels sprouts, fennel, and cucumbers put up by this Santa Barbara-based pickler add welcome heat to a cheese board.
Gordy’s Pickle Jar
This Washington, D.C.-based maker specializes in spicy pickles and condiments. We’re especially pumped for their Cajun Okra, Thai Basil Jalapenos, and zingy Cherry Pepper Spread.
Located in bucolic York, Pennsylvania, Epic sources local produce like asparagus, carrots, okra, and green beans when possible to make their complex, flavorful pickles.
Kansas City Canning Co.
Pickling isn’t just for veggies. This Missouri company specializes in unique pickled fruits like balsamic pickled grapes and heirloom tomato bruschetta, too.
This Michigan-based Good Food Awards winner sources fresh, locally grown produce for their products, including garlicky dill spears and spicy pickled cherry peppers.
Bow Hill Blueberries
Pickled blueberries are sublime on a cheese board, and the growers at Bow Hill Blueberries in northwest Washington have identified the perfect variety that stays crisp and bright when pickled.
Pickled Pink Foods
This Georgia-based pickler puts a Southern spin on its products, from spiced watermelon rind pickles to Vidalia onion peach relish.
The pickles at Portland, Oregon-based Olympia Provisions were designed to complement their line of traditional charcuterie products with balanced, full-bodied flavor and just the right amount of tang.
Sweet fruit, tart vinegar, and flavors like vanilla and tarragon come together in these unique pickled cherries made by a small-batch Oregon producer.
What are your favorite pickles to serve on a cheese board? Tag us @cheesegrotto on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and let us know!