Easter might not seem like a big cheese board holiday. It’s all about eggs, right? But just when hens start laying more eggs, dairy animals like cows, sheep, and goats are having babies—which means new milk for cheesemaking!
That’s why we traditionally see an abundance of fresh and soft cheeses in springtime—we’re all so excited for the flavors of spring meadows after a long, cold winter. A gorgeous Easter cheese board is the perfect way to celebrate this season of renewal.
The Best Cheeses For an Easter Cheese Board
While you can celebrate Easter and springtime with just about any cheeses you enjoy, we recommend digging into some varieties that really highlight what this transitional time of year is all about.
Fresh Goat Cheeses
Fresh chevre is a year-round food, suitable for spreading on baked goods, crumbling onto salads, or putting on a cheese board. This is the time of year when logs of fresh goat cheese shine!
We love this quartet of fresh, soft-ripened, and aged goat cheeses from Miracle Springs farm in New York’s Hudson Valley (featuring one of our faves, everything-spiced chevre!) as the basis for an Easter cheese board.
Want to make your own goat cheese wrapped in wine-infused kale or cabbage leaves? Check out our fun DIY recipe here.
Sure, we want to highlight fresh cheeses made with new spring milk, but an Easter cheese board is by no means one-note. Soft-ripened cheeses like crottins and bloomy rinds offer a wide spectrum of flavors, textures, and aromas for us to enjoy: citrusy, milky, mushroomy, earthy.
Our Cheesemaker’s Choice package from award-winning Yellow Springs Farm in Pennsylvania offers an intriguing combination of bloomy and aged goat’s milk cheeses, such as mild, luscious Cloud Nine; earthy ash-coated pyramid Black Diamond, and a wedge of a savory, rustic aged tomme from their caves. Or taste Maryland terroir with a trio of soft-ripened goat cheeses—ashed, bloomy, and spruce-wrapped—from Firefly Farms.
Aged Sheep’s Milk Cheeses
One of our favorite things about eating seasonally is seeing how certain foods overlap as the seasons change. Sure, we’re all about rhubarb and asparagus in spring’s first flush, but the last of winter’s storage crops and long-aged cheeses made last season still show up at our local farmers’ market. Bringing these flavors together can create delicious results.
We recommend an earthy, savory aged sheep’s milk cheese like nutty, savory mixed-milk Pecora Nocciola from Wisconsin’s Landmark Creamery or Green Dirt Farm’s Prairie Tomme, a pure sheep’s milk mountain-style tomme with a rustic natural rind.
Another great option is Invierno, available as part of our Vermont Shepherd trio: Owners David Major and Yesenia Ielpi blend winter sheep’s milk with cow’s milk from a neighboring farm to create this spicy, tangy seasonal aged cheese. This three-pack also includes a wedge of piquant, crystalline two-year Invierno—a truly special treat for any celebration.
How to Build an Easter Cheese Board
You’ve chosen your cheeses, and now it’s time to select some delicious accompaniments and put it all together. (Let’s go for an elegant, minimalist vibe here—keep the Peeps and chocolate bunnies in your Easter baskets, please!)
The bright, lactic flavors of fresh and soft-ripened cheeses go well with light, floral honey and other citrusy flavors like Meyer lemon curd or preserves, late-season clementines, and tangy rhubarb jam. They’re all fantastic dolloped with cheese on a crisp cracker, baguette round, or hunk of sourdough bread.
These cheeses also benefit from the refreshing crunch and mild spice of another early-spring crop: radishes. Be they French Breakfast, multicolored Easter Egg, or juicy, pink-fleshed watermelon radishes, these tender root veggies add freshness, fiber, and beautiful color to your board. Classic orange or rainbow carrots make a great option, too (plus, bunnies love them!).
Finally, for your aged cheeses, go for pairings that will complement their nutty, savory notes: crunchy sprouted almonds; sweet, earthy walnut halves; prosciutto roses or salami flowers (hey, it’s springtime!). You can also choose contrasting accompaniments like sweet-tart fruit preserves, dried pears or figs, honey, and quince paste or guava paste—the latter two go especially well with aged sheep’s milk cheeses like Invierno.
To put everything together, follow our guide for building the ultimate cheese board to lay all your goodies out on a slate, wooden board, mini cheese board, or even onto the shelves of your Cheese Grotto.
Finally, decorate with greenery or florals: sprigs of herbs from your windowsill, a twig bursting with cherry blossoms or magnolias, or a few spring blooms like tulips, daffodils, or hyacinths from your garden.
How to Pair an Easter Cheese Board With Wine
To drink, pop open a bottle of something refreshing to pair with fresh cheeses. We love crisp, food-friendly white wines like Gewürztraminer, Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc, and dry Riesling (like the one made by our friends at Suhru Wines) with a cheese board featuring a wide array of flavor profiles.
Rosé wine also feels like a must for such a pink, pastel holiday: just choose something on the drier side. A bottle with bubbles—whether a white like vinho verde or a sparkling rosé—is always a good move when soft, dense, and/or rich wheels are involved.
Easter Brunch Recipes With Cheese
If you’re serving a crowd or really want to go all out, you can build an entire Easter brunch menu to go along with your beautiful cheese board. Our blog features a ton of cheese-centric recipes for every season, and some of our favorites are perfect for celebrating the holiday.
Try Slow-Baked Golden Ricotta with Spring Vegetables like peas, fiddleheads, and ramps for a protein-packed dish featuring everything fresh and green. Blend up a light yet creamy Asparagus Soup—it’s great with a few wedges of Invierno and a hunk of crusty bread. It wouldn’t be Easter without the golden richness of eggs, so save the whites and yolks from your blown-out eggs for this Spring Frittata topped with stretchy fresh mozzarella (you can even make your own!
How are you celebrating the holiday—and gorgeous spring weather—with cheese this Easter? Tag us on Instagram @cheesegrotto and let us know!