What cheese to serve with prosciutto is a question we asked ourselves for the longest time. Prosciutto is commonly served as appetizers most especially when we’re having wine. To make this spread extra awesome, it would be nice to know what cheese goes well with it.
Prosciutto is a reddish pink thin slice of salty and delicate pork meat that is often enjoyed alone or sometimes, with the company of wine and cheese.
First of all, what is prosciutto?
Prosciutto means ham in Italy. In Italy, ham is either prepared “raw” meaning cured or cooked. The most common type of prosciutto enjoyed in all corners of Italy is prosciutto crudo meaning raw ham. This isn’t exactly raw but it is raw then cured.
Prosciutto has been around since the time of the Romans when they would find ways to dry-age meat to extend the shelf life of the meats during the colder seasons. Throughout the centuries, the art of concocting the best tasting prosciutto crudo has evolved immensely into what we enjoy now.
Prosciutto is not limited to Italy. The neighboring country of Spain has its own version of prosciutto crudo and it’s a celebrated food there. Jamon is just as tasty as prosciutto but a little heavier on the fatty side and stronger in flavor.
We commonly see prosciutto in cold cuts and cheese board spreads and we often enjoy it with olives, fruits, wine, and cheese, most especially.
We’ve come up with a list of cheese that would complement the prosciutto spread on your table.
Prosciutto di Parma is the most popular kind of prosciutto in Italy. It comes from heritage hog lines from the regions surrounding Parma, Italy. Interestingly, Parmegiano-Regiano is also a premium kind of Parmesan cheese made in Parma. Both prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano-Reggiano are aged. Both are salty with a slightly sweet natural finish to them. If you were to pair prosciutto with any cheese, Parmesan would be the number one choice.
2. Pecorino Romano
Pecorino Romano is another hard cheese, just like Parmesan with a hint of natural sweetness and delicious saltiness. However, Pecorino Romano is more pungent and it has notes of butter. Who doesn’t love that buttery flavor? Unlike Parmesan, Pecorino Romano is derived from sheep’s milk. It has that slightly grassy flavor and nuttiness to it, making it a delicious and contrasting taste with prosciutto.
3. Smoked Gouda
Just like gouda, smoked gouda is milky and moist. What we love about gouda is that whether it is soft or firm, it always retains its moisture all throughout its shelf life. Smoked gouda is a little bit fattier than regular gouda and it’s perfect with prosciutto because its smokiness adds character to the prosciutto.
Gruyere has nutty and fruity notes. It’s quite firm but not crumbly firm. It’s perfect with the prosciutto because it compliments the richness of the meat and Gruyere is very enjoyable to eat. For those who aren’t too fond of sharp cheeses, this is the perfect cheese for your to pair with prosciutto.
5. Goat Cheese
Goat cheese could be soft or slightly firm. In any form, it’s great with prosciutto because the grassy and pungent goat flavor counters the saltiness of the prosciutto. It’s an interesting pairing that not a lot appreciate but it’s actually well loved by those who like it. Try it to see if you’ll like it. If you’re on the fence about having goat cheese, perhaps lightly sear it before serving with the prosciutto.
Havarti is a buttery Swiss cheese that is packed with subtle flavors. It’s not too pungent and it is slightly sweet with a hint of acidity. We would suggest pairing a softer Havarti with your prosciutto because the subtle notes of this cheese harmonize with the savory prosciutto.
7. Herb Boursin
Boursin is a creamy cheese that we all love spreading on crackers or sandwiches. It’s a no-brainer delicious cheese but you might be wondering why we think it’s good with prosciutto. Prosciutto is often paired with firm cheese and this is quite out of the loop. After many tipsy nights of having wine, cheese, and prosciutto, we learned that we thoroughly enjoyed spreading Boursin on the crackers and adding prosciutto on top.
Gorgonzola is Italy’s version of the bleu cheese. It tastes grassy and rustic. It is a lot pungent and sometimes too strong for some people who aren’t into this kind of cheese. However, Gorgonzola is another one of those cheeses that would compliment the flavors of the delicate prosciutto. The earthiness of the cheese uplifts the flavor of the prosciutto.
Manchego is a Spanish cheese that is celebrated just like their Jamon. Since Manchego goes so well with Spain’s Jamon, it’s no surprise that it also complements the flavors of Italy’s prosciutto. Manchego tastes like caramel, nuts, butter, fruit, and hay. It’s a very nutty cheese and its firm texture gives us that Parmesan feel as well.
10. Bufala Mozzarella
Bufala Mozzarella is Campania’s pride and joy. It is typically made in this region and most of Italy would rather their bufala comes from Campania than anywhere else. This isn’t your ordinary fresh mozzarella. It’s creamier, softer, and has a little bit more salt it in. It’s perfect with the prosciutto because it balances the saltiness of the meat.