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A Guide to Dessert Cheeses

Updated on August 30, 2013

Dessert Cheeses

Do you eat and serve dessert cheeses? Many Americans love cheese, but most of us don’t usually consider serving it as a dessert course. This tradition has long been honored in Europe, and the practice is finally gaining traction here in the United States, especially in fine restaurants. Dessert cheeses make a simple yet elegant way to top off a great meal, just before dessert, after dessert, or as dessert. They can be paired with a wine, fresh fruit, coffee, jams, or honey. Some of the dessert cheeses come studded or encrusted with sweet spices, berries, or tropical fruits. Some cheeses, like Gouda, can stand alone as a dessert course. Most cheeses are high in fat, but they’re also good sources of protein, calcium, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin B12. Cheese can be part of a healthy diet, as long as you don't over-indulge. Below are some tips for dessert cheeses.

Great Dessert Cheeses

The following cheeses make wonderful dessert selections. They come with fruits, nuts, honey, chocolate, berries, or spices already added - except for the Gouda, which is sweet and mild on its own:

Chocolate goat cheese

White Stilton with pear and apple

White Stilton studded with mango and ginger

Super-aged gouda

Chevre encrusted with blueberries

Cranberry chevre with cinnamon

Cheese torte with nuts and honey

Wensleydale with cranberries

Great Cheese Pairings for Dessert

 I've paired the following cheeses with fruits and other flavors that will compliment the cheese well. These are just some ideas to get you started - experiment on your own to find your favorite taste combinations:

Beaufort with dried apricots


Ricotta with raspberries


Asadero with diced papaya


Finnish juustoleipa with lingonberry jam


Comte with dried figs


Camembert with seedless green grapes


Danish blue with fresh strawberries


Marscapone layered with a sweet liqueur


French bucheron with Concord grapes


Fontina with dates


Brie with fruit chutney


Gruyere with dried cherries


Mature parmesan with fresh figs


Manchego with quince paste


Roquefort with honeydew melon


Italian pecorino with ripe pears and honey


Aged sheeps’-milk cheese with apples


Spanish San Simon with sliced peaches



Serving Tips


Cheeses should be served at room temperature. Hard cheeses might take an hour or longer to reach the correct serving temperature, while soft cheeses might take only thirty minutes or so. When you offer cheeses for dessert, include toasted baguettes, raisin bread, or sweet brown bread. Nuts are another nice addition, including walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, roasted chestnuts, and toasted pecans.


Another idea is to make a cheese try for dessert. Include three or four cheeses, ranging from sweet to savory. Add several fruits, along with honey, nuts, and bread slices.


Wrap cheeses in cheese paper, parchment paper, or waxed paper.
Wrap cheeses in cheese paper, parchment paper, or waxed paper.

Buying and Storing Tips

You can find a huge selection of wonderful cheeses online, in specialty shops, and in gourmet and ethnic foods markets. You might also be able to locate some locally produced cheeses in farmers’ markets. A selection of common cheeses can be found in your local grocery store, of course.

If you purchase pre-packaged cheese, make sure the package is not torn or perforated. Be sure to check the expiration date, too. If the cheese isn't pre-packaged, smell the cheese. If it has an amonia smell, don't buy it.

To store your hard, semi-hard, and semi-soft cheese, remove it from its plastic wrapper as soon as you get it home. Cheese needs to breathe, and plastic can suffocate it. Wrap the cheese in cheese paper, parchment paper, or waxed paper, just like you would wrap a gift. Then place the cheese loosely in a plastic bag. Smelly cheeses like Limberger should be double wrapped to keep the odor from permeating the fridge. These types of cheeses should be stored in the warmest part of the refrigerator.

After the cheese has been cut, rub the surface with canola oil. For grey, white, and washed rind cheeses, rub only the cut face with oil. Don’t rub the blue at all.

If mold begins to form, don’t discard the cheese! Just wipe it off with a damp paper towel and re-rub the cheese with clean oil.

Hard and semi-hard natural cheeses will last for several months in the refrigerator.

Soft or fresh cheeses like feta and ricotta should be stored in their original containers. If mold begins to form, throw the cheese away. These types of cheeses have a shorter refrigerator life.

Freezing cheeses doesn’t work well. It can be done safely, but the cheese will lose some of its flavor and much of its texture. If you must freeze your cheese, use the thawed product for cooking only.

To learn more about cheeses, view the videos below.

For recipes using cheese, click the links below the videos.


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    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Great, random! Thanks for visiting!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      9 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great hub! My husband and I love all different kinds of cheese and will experiment with this idea!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Helen, thanks so much for visiting my hub!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Nancy - cheese + fruit = awesome!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Pakpub!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for the kind comment, Ethel!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Sandy, you sound like me!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Buckie, did you find some fruit??

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, HH, my friend!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Cali, thanks for reading!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      haha, Kaie! Thanks!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      thank you very much, Prasetio!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      sheila, I have cheese and fruit for dinner sometimes!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      thanks for stopping by, Pam!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Me too, Veronica!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This is so beautifully well done. Your photos are stunning. After readying this, I'm inspired to making a cheese course for dessert when I plan my next get together. Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful ideas!

    • nancy_30 profile image


      10 years ago from Georgia

      My favorite subject, dessert. I've always thought cheese went really good with fruits. Thanks for this very informative hub on dessert cheeses. Now I'm off to eat. All of your pictures made me hungry.

    • pakpub profile image


      10 years ago from Florida

      Very nicely done hub. Thanks for sharing.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      10 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      That's a beautifuuly laid out Hub Holle as well as being informative. The images look fab

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      10 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Did someone say dessert? Nice selection of cheeses.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Excellent vein to go on! Great work as always but the topic is super cool. And now I'm getting hungry - again! Need a piece of fruit.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      10 years ago from London, UK

      You have done it again. Super suggestion.

    • calicoaster profile image


      10 years ago

      Yummmmmm...I must say...a mouth watering hub!! :D

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 

      10 years ago

      I love cheese........... breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Well, actually I skip breakfast. Dessert sounds good to me......... as long as the cheese isn't melted.



    • prasetio30 profile image


      10 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I like cheese very much. Thanks for share this information. It useful for us. Good tips from you. Thumbs up and I rate this one.


    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      10 years ago

      You're a girl after my own heart with these cheeses. Who cares about dinner, I'll just take the cheese! My idea of a real treat for myself is a selection of cheeses and fruit I can nibble on for hours.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      10 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Habee, This is a great hub with the beautiful pictures and all the good suggestions.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      I love these combinations habee!


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