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7 things every cheese lover needs

Here's what you need to celebrate National Cheese Lover’s Day.

Here's everything you need if you love cheese. Credit: Getty / Natalia Van Doninck

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It’s National Cheese Lover’s Day, one of many made up food holidays, but arguably one of the best (though I'm partial to National Pizza Day). Before joining the team at Reviewed, I was the editor of Culture Magazine, a publication dedicated entirely to cheese.

During my time with Culture I had the absolute privilege of getting to know cheesemakers, affineurs (the people who age cheese), cheesemongers, farmers, chefs, and all the other passionate folks who handle the wheels and wedges we love. So, naturally, I’ve compiled a list of all the things every cheese lover needs for this holiday and beyond.

1. Cheese

Jasper Hill Farm has an all-star lineup of cheeses perfect for any time of year. Pictured here are seven different packaged varieties.
Credit: Jasper Hill Farm

Jasper Hill Farm has an all-star lineup of cheeses perfect for any time of year.

No fromage-filled celebration would be complete without cheese, so in case you're looking for recommendations, here's one of my favorite cheesemakers that's currently offering nationwide shipping. I can't get enough of Jasper Hill Farm, and if you haven't ever dug into a wheel of their signature Harbison (now available in a mini version, too!) with a crispy, salty potato chip, you should do so immediately.

Get the Jasper Hill Farm Tasting Box at Food52 starting at $50

2. Accompaniments

A jar of date spread is labeled:
Credit: Wanna Date / Effie's Homemade

Every tasty wedge of cheese needs a few accompaniments to help it shine.

I'm a firm believer that you can pair anything with cheese if you keep an open mind, but there are a few staples no cheese board should be without. I typically go for something sweet like Wanna Date? all-natural date spread, something crunchy like Effie's Gourmet Biscuits, and something pickled like the Stone Hollow Farmstead Pickle Set. If you're feeling zany, try a wild card pairing like a soft, slightly tangy cheese (maybe fresh chèvre) with hunks of Raaka Chocolate.

3. Cheese knives

This Laguiole cheese knife set includes a cleaver, spreader, and a soft cheese knife.
Credit: Laguiole

This Laguiole cheese knife set includes a cleaver, spreader, and a soft cheese knife.

While it's true that any knife can cut the cheese, it's also true that certain cheeses are easier to dig into with specific cutlery. As a general rule of thumb, most hard cheeses prefer cleavers or chisels, while other hard cheeses will do well with a shaver. Soft cheeses love soft cheese knives and spreaders, and parmesan actually gets it's own special parmesan knife because it's fancy.

Do yourself a favor and pick up a solid cheese knife set rather than buying each knife one piece at a time. I love this Laguiole 3-piece set from Anthropologie because they're gorgeous, not too flashy, and extra sturdy.

Get the Laguiole Cheese Knives (Set of 3) at Anthropologie for $36

4. Cheese board

Three different cheese boards: a circular black one on the left and a pair of colorful, squared ones to the right.
Credit: Brooklyn Slate / Fredericks and Mae

Who says cheese boards need to be boring? Have fun with your surface selection.

You could absolutely use one of your existing cutting boards to craft your cheese board or arrange your cheesy appetizers, but if you're like me and you love an excuse to dress things up a bit, consider a special surface for your curds. For a classic option, go for natural slate. If you want something a bit unconventional yet versatile, try a bold, chunky cutting board.

5. Cheese grater

I like a sturdy, no-frills boxed grater. Pictured here are four of the same model: stainless steal with a rubber base and a black handle.
Credit: Cuisinart

I like a sturdy, no-frills boxed grater.

If your National Cheese Lover's Day celebration will include grated cheese in any form or fashion (fondue, anyone?), you'll need a good cheese grater. This sturdy, no frills Cuisinart Boxed Grater is sturdy, efficient, and comfortable to grip.

Get the Cuisinart Boxed Grater on Amazon for $12.99

6. Fondue pot

Boska crafts cheesemaker-approved fondue sets, cheese knives, and more. Pictured is a close-up of their one-liter fondue pot.
Credit: Boska

Boska crafts cheesemaker-approved fondue sets, cheese knives, and more.

Nothing says decadence quite like a fondue pot filled with rich, gooey cheese. This fondue set from Boska, a trusted brand among cheese professionals, includes a ceramic pot, oak wood base, four fondue forks, and a burner. Bonus: Your fondue pot can also provide the perfect vessel for a chocolatey Valentine's Day treat.

Get the Boska 1-Liter Fondue Set on Amazon for $73.42

7. Cheese storage

A large wedge of cheese is shown being stored in Capabunga's silicone Cheese Vault.
Credit: Cheese Vault

Unless you have a cheese cave in your basement, you should probably consider buying a Cheese Vault for proper cheese storage.

Believe it or not, cheese is a living, breathing thing. It's true! And therefore, if you want to properly store your cheese, something like the Cheese Vault can be really helpful to extend the life of your cheese. The Cheese Vault is made of silicone and is designed to allow cheese to breath, preventing moisture build up and molding. Plus, it's dishwasher safe.

Get the Cheese Vault on Amazon for $34.95

8. Further reading

A pair of books offers ideas and recipes for cheese plates and cheese-based hot dishes.
Credit: Penguin Random House / Chronicle Books

These are a few of my favorite cheesy books at the moment.

When it comes to cheese books there are three main categories: the informative, the decorative, and the cookbook. It's almost impossible to choose my favorites, but my current top picks are a cheese 101 book by a truly prolific cheese world figure, Anne Saxelby, a helpful guide to trendy cheese boards that doubles as a coffee table book, and a cookbook filled with cheesy, comforting recipes by a fellow Culture Magazine alumna.

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