Let’s get one thing straight—Halloween can never be canceled. While trick-or-treating might be tricky and we won’t be able to treat ourselves to big Halloween parties, the spooky spirit never dies! So go ahead; hang up those cobwebs and paper bats, dust off the decorative skulls, and get your favorite lineup of scary movies ready. Once the scene is set, all that’s left is laying out the feast, and we’ve got just the cheeses you’ll need for a haunted night in.
Is that you, Buffy? This garlic-packed cheddar from Calkins Creamery is like no other around. Although it’s made with enough garlic to clear a roomful of vampires within seconds, you’ll also taste ginger, onion, and paprika in the mix, making this cheese truly formidable in flavor. Each eight pound wheel dons a cape of black wax before being aged for a minimum of 60 days. The cheddar itself is based on their classic Barn Red Ched, a stirred-curd farmstead cheddar made with grass-fed raw milk from Calkins’ registered Holstein herd of cows.
Cut into the ghostly ash-covered rind of Jasper Hill’s Scream Cheese, and you’ll find the perfect Halloween color inside! This diminutive 4oz Weybridge—a lactic-set cheese with a gossamer-like bloomy rind—gets its bright pumpkin color from annatto. The creamline just inside the rind has a round, mushroomy flavor that complements the bright flavor of the dense center.
Okay, this one might be a bit of a stretch, but trust us when we tell you to cut this cheese in half and stand each half up. You just turned your cheese board into a cheese graveyard! In all seriousness, this is a classically delicious choice for any cheese array. The only imported cheese on the list, this goat’s milk aged chevre from the Loire Valley has a dusting of salted vegetable ash that gives it its distinctive gravestone coloring. Inside the grey rind is a bright, tangy, herbaceous cheese with a lavish texture that is the definition of treating yourself.
No, it’s not cheese, but what’s cheese without accoutrements? (Well, still pretty good, but every good outfit needs the right accessories.) These oblong grapes in particular are a cousin to witch finger grapes, with the same perfect snap of their thin skin, and similar sweetness that makes them hard to stop eating. Drape a bunch of these witchy delicacies at the outskirts of your cheese board for a perfect familiar to a savory spread.