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Using cheese markers is a nice gesture to help guests decipher which varieties they’re about to eat, especially if there’s a fun story behind the cheese or a pairing that you recommend. Even if you plan on stationing yourself by the spread and telling tales of English blue cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano directly from Italy, cheese markers will have your back in reminding everyone what they’re enjoying. If you’re the type of person with a fridge full of cheese at any given time, it’s just good sense to have cheese markers on your board.
From disposable to custom finds you’ll treasure for years to come, here are the best cheese markers.
Best Overall: Norpro Cheese Marker Set With Pen, 7-Piece
Customize with included washable pen
Porcelain is breakable
Pen only works when surface is dry
This set of six porcelain, dishwasher-safe markers is a wonderful starter set. It comes with a washable gold pen, so you can fill in whichever type of cheese, meat, bread, or other tasty bites you have in your spread. You can even change the label if the cheese runs out mid-evening and needs to be replaced. Norpro has been a trusted kitchenware and supply brand since 1973, so it’s not surprising that its cheese markers are functional, pretty, and worthwhile. If you don’t know where to start, start here. You can always add to the collection later, but these are inexpensive and practical, and will serve you well.
Size: 2.25 inches | Material: Porcelain | Count: 6 markers, 1 pen
Best Inexpensive Custom: Occasional Paper Cuts Custom Cheese Marker
Can be customized with logo, art
Supports the work of artists
Rinseable, but not washable
This set of wooden cheese markers is custom and reusable, but also disposable. Made of wood and stamped with the font and words of your choosing (up to five different engravings per 50 pieces), you can certainly just go with the basics, but if your favorite cheese is a smaller-production variety, like Nettle Meadow Kunik or Stichelton (a small-batch, raw milk version of the classic British blue Stilton), you can have exactly that engraved on your markers. You'll receive 10 of each, so you’ll have plenty to go through if you choose to dispose of them, but you can also simply rinse them off after use and save them for next time.
Size: 4 inches | Material: Wood | Count: 50
Best Vintage-Inspired Custom: Vintage Garden Art Stamped Recycled Forks Silver Plate Custom Cheese Markers, Set of 6
Customize to your cheese preferences
Supports the work of artists
Everyday items recycled into art
Small enough to get lost in dishwasher
These, perhaps the most creative option of the bunch, are recycled silver plate forks stamped with your choice of five cheese names. Once in your possession, spear the corresponding varieties and allow them to beautifully show off the cheese names. These are great if you find yourself going back to the same cheeses often, if you prefer to reuse things rather than throw them away, or if you enjoy an artsy look to standard paper or wood options.
Size: 3 to 5 inches (varies with crafting) | Material: Mixed metals | Count: 5
Best Disposable: Senkary Blank Toothpick Flag Cheese Markers, 200-Pack
Can be used for lots of different foods
Small surface area difficult to write on
If you don’t have any particular cheeses that are your favorite and want an option that can be repurposed beyond a cheese plate, these toothpick flags are just the thing. They come in a pack of 200, available in white or neutral brown, and can be used for non-cheese appetizers, cupcakes, mini desserts, fruit, and more. The flag is sized at 1.38 x 0.98 inches with enough room to write out long cheese names, like Camembert or manchego. If you love entertaining and aren’t set on markers meant just for cheese, these are great.
Size: 3.5 inches | Material: Wood picks, paper flags | Count: 200
Best Gold: LeRusticChic Wire Cheese Markers
Fun and rustic design
Custom colors and text
Wire can bend easily
Gold chic, meet whimsy. These fun wire cheese markers make for a great gift or charcuterie night highlight of your very own. The metallic gold is bright and beautiful, though there are 13 other colors you can choose from. In fact, you can customize the marker to say whatever you want–whether that’s a type of cheese, a flavor profile, or even your name.
Size: 4 inches tall (width depends on custom word choice) | Material: Wire | Count: 1
Best Colorful: Worthy and Badass Cheese Markers
Fun, crazy color choices
Not dishwasher safe
Most of the custom cheese marker options have the cheese names stamped on. In this case, the pick is shaped into the name of the cheese itself. Perhaps the most eye-catching and easiest to read of the bunch, these picks are also great because you can buy them one at a time or in a bundle of five. Plus, you can choose the colors; if you’ve always dreamed of neon pink or royal blue cheese markers, here’s your chance. The acrylic letters are about 1/2 inch tall and great for those who like to make a statement.
Size: 2 inches | Material: Plastic | Count: Single pick or packs of 5
What to Look for When Buying Cheese Markers
Are the cheese markers going to be used for a one-time event? Or are they something you want to keep reusing over and over again? These markers can be made from a variety of materials, including paper, plastic, wood, silver or gold plated, and more. If you want cheese markers you can keep and reuse, choose ones made from a durable material.
There are many different designs, colors, and shapes that cheese markers come in. For example, you will find ones that have a round, square, or rectangular shape, and others that are in custom shapes, such as arrows, flags, signposts, etc. Choose whatever design you like best and fits with your event.
Preprinted or Write-In
Do you want to be able to write your own labels for cheese, bread, and crackers, etc., or do you want to use ones that are preprinted? For example, some have chalkboard overlay areas for writing the type of cheese; others come preprinted with the names of the various cheeses. The ones that you write on come in handy if you want to use them for food items other than cheese. These usually come with chalk or dry erase pens.
What can you use cheese markers for?
These handy gadgets are not only great for marking cheese on your cheeseboard but also for marking other food items, such as bread, meats, dips, etc. You can also use them to put silly and fun sayings on them or even use them as place markers for seating guests.
How do you clean cheese markers?
If the cheese markers are ones you want to reuse, they should be easy to clean. Some will need to be hand-washed using dish soap and warm water, while others are dishwasher safe. Check the directions that come with the ones you select to see how best to maintain them.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Writer and professional cheese eater Christine Clark teaches cheese and pairing classes throughout the United States and is dedicated to helping people expertly get their cheese on. Her cheese adoration is so strong that she has a whole podcast dedicated to it. She is a Certified Cheese Professional through the American Cheese Society.
This roundup was updated by Catherine Russell. Growing up, her grandmother's kitchen was one of her favorite places to be. Warmed by the oven and redolent of spices, she learned to bake, roast, broil, and cook most anything from scratch, and often with only the recipes as grandma remembered them.
Allison Wignall, who also updated this article, is a writer who focuses on food and travel. She visited a goat farm in Greece to learn about traditional methods of making delicious feta and tasted several types of sheep’s milk cheese in the Piedmont region of Italy. Her work has been featured in publications, such as Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, and Southern Living.