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It’s not hard to find great gourmet shops online. It’s not even that hard to find great cheese. But, when it comes to buying a thoughtful and tasty gift for that special someone, things can get more complicated. You may not remember your recipient's favorite cheese. You may not even know which type of charcuterie they prefer. You may not know which cheeses pair best with their nightly glass of pinot grigio or cabernet sauvignon. This is why finding a varied, bountiful selection from a reputable purveyor is so important. And you needn't worry about buying too much—spoilage won't be an issue.
“Most cheese gifts can sit in your giftee’s fridge for days or even weeks awaiting the perfect moment for them to dive in," said Julia Birnbaum, founder of the Philly Cheese School. "This means that your loved one won’t just think of you when they receive their gift, but they will be sending you love and appreciation every time they cut off a piece.”
We scoured through the cheese and meat baskets available online to find the best selections to give to the food lover in your life. These meat and cheese gift baskets have everything a foodie needs to create the dreamiest cheese platter (which they’ll hopefully share with you to say thanks). So, get out your cheese knives.
Here, the best meat and cheese gift baskets.
Harry & David Ultimate Cheese and Charcuterie Collection
Includes: Iberico ham, Serrano paleta, Barolo salami, Toscano salami, California Crafted Dry Jack cheese, merlot cheese, rosemary and olive oil Asiago cheese, Oregonzola blue cheese, round acacia wood cutting board with handle
Looking for a spread that will bring down the house? Look no further. This collection features Ibérico ham, Serrano paleta, Creminelli (from Utah’s salami king, Cristiano Creminelli) Barolo salami, and Toscano salami, as well as dry Jack cheese from California, Merlot BellaVitano and aged Asiago cheese from Sartori, and Rogue Creamery’s Oregonzola Blue (Rogue’s cheese Rogue River Blue was named the best cheese in the world in 2019), plus an acacia cutting board.
Two-day shipping is included with the standard shipping rate. Customers say it makes a great gift for a birthday, holiday, or just a nice surprise for someone who will be entertaining.
Lady & Larder XXL Cheese Board
Includes: Dry-cured beer salami, uncured Italian salami, prosciutto Americano, Mt. Tam Triple Crème, goat Gouda, blue cheese, 6-month cheddar, Orcas pear with Bay Spoon preserves, truffle mustard, organic raw walnuts, sea salt blistered almonds, organic roasted pistachios, tart dried cherries, dried apricots, flame raisins, ranch dates, wildflower honey, organic sourdough flatbread bites, red oak board
The Lady & Larder cheese shop in Los Angeles features all American-made products and aims to support a 100 percent domestic and sustainable food culture. This means the store finds the best artisans from across the country, who make the tastiest treats to be found.
The XXL Cheese Board at Williams-Sonoma is a colorful, bountiful showstopper featuring 5 pounds of cured meat and cheese, all of which are certified organic. There are also orchard-grown nuts and dried fruit, crackers, and condiments to help complete your giftee's charcuterie board.
iGourmet French Classics Gift Basket
Includes: Camembert, Comte reserve, French chevre, French fruit paste accompaniment, Gavottes Salted Caramel with Vanilla Butter Cookies, mini toasts, Michel Cluizel chocolate bar, saucisson sec, French Dijon mustard
Shopping for that person who dreams of visiting Paris? Gift them a trip to Paris by way of cheese with this French Classics Gift Basket. Coming with treats like Camembert, Comte (the most popular cheese in France), saucisson sec, chocolate, Dijon mustard, and more, this spread is certain to satisfy any turophile or Francophile.
While many sliced cheeses come in plastic wrap, this isn’t the ideal outerwear long-term, as plastic tends to drain cheeses of their precious moisture and impart a fridge-like flavor, says Julia Birnbaum, the founder of Philly Cheese School. Instead, Birnbaum suggests butcher paper, wax paper, or one of the many other paper options designed specifically for cheese, which can be found at most kitchenware stores and cheese shops.
Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Charcuterie Collection
Includes: Double-cream cheese, farmhouse cheese, blue cheese, pimento spread, black pepper salami, Blackberry Patch Peach Bourbon Cardamom fruit preserves
For a taste of the South, try this collection by award-winning sustainable producer Sweet Grass Dairy. In Southern Georgia, where Sweet Grass Dairy is based, grass grows essentially year-round. Sweet Grass Dairy takes advantage of this by letting its cows graze on fresh pasture year-round through a system called rotational grazing, resulting in flavorful cheese that’s won numerous awards.
This box at Williams-Sonoma features some of the company's greatest hits (including the scrumptious pimento cheese), plus some spectacular Southern accouterments: Spotted Trotter Black Pepper Sorghum Salami, Blackberry Patch Peach Bourbon Cardamom Preserves, and Roots & Branches Hand-Crafted Artisan Crackers. Whether you’re shopping for someone with Southern roots or just are looking for spectacular cheese, this collection is worth your time.
Harry & David Ultimate Wine Pairing Collection
Includes: Dry salami con vino, salami, merlot cheese, Cheddar Gruyère cheese, Oregonzola blue cheese, sourdough baguette, cherry and ancho chili chutney, green olive spread, fig spread, artisan chips, olive oil and sea salt crackers, dark chocolate-covered almonds, chocolate cake, mixed nuts, dark chocolate sea salt caramels, milk-chocolate covered blueberries, chocolate truffles, dried fruit mix, chardonnay, pinot noir, Ross Lane Red blend
This decadent spread features some of the same delicacies as the other Harry & David box on our list (including options from Sartori, Creminelli, and Rogue), but this is more of a party in a box, including items like fig spread, dark chocolate-covered almonds, mixed nuts, dried fruit, plus award-winning Harry & David wines—the 2019 Chardonnay, 2019 Pinot Noir, and the Harry & David Ross Lane Red blend.
Murray's Cheese All-American Collection
Includes: Grafton 2-Year Cheddar Bar, Murray's St. Marks, Point Reyes Original Blue Cheese, Spring Brook Farm Reading, sliced Finocchiona, olive oil and sel gris flatbread
This spread celebrates cheese from sea to shining sea, from California’s Point Reyes Original Blue Cheese to Vermont’s Grafton 2-Year Cheddar bar. The Brooklyn Cured Sliced Sopressata makes a tasty bite with any and all of the cheeses, proving that American teamwork is pretty darn tasty.
Beehive Cheese Company Coffee Rubbed Cheese & Salami Collection
Includes: Espresso lavender-rubbed cheese, Salami Casalingo, crostini, blood orange preserves
This thoughtful spread hails from Utah, which isn't always the first place we think of when we think of cheese, but perhaps it should be higher on the list. Beehive Cheese, founded in the early 2000s, makes a range of delightful cheese, including the signature, Barely Buzzed. It’s a buttery, cheddar-like cheese aged for seven months, then rubbed with espresso powder and lavender for a nutty, rich finish. The salami, Salami Casalingo, is made with coarse-ground heritage pork and organic spices, crafted by Utah’s salami king, Cristiano Creminelli. Also included is a jar of Pepperlane Blood Orange Preserves and Pan Forte Crostini.
Mouth Picnic in a Box
Includes: cheddar cheese, flatbread crackers, Cassava crackers, fig jam, sea salt and pepper pistachios, salami, blackberry jam shortbread coins, olive and Parmesan tapenade
This assortment of small-batch cheese, salami, and condiments makes a thoughtful birthday, congratulations, or just-because gift. Featuring aged goat cheese, Vermont cheddar, gin and juice salami, organic sourdough crackers, crunchy cassava crackers, and dried fig compote, all in a signature Mouth-branded tote, the mouth-watering pairings here shouldn’t be missed. Lovers of soft cheese may miss their brie or Taleggios, but the box is fun enough that they may not even notice. Reviewers praise the tasty flavors and combinations.
igourmet Game Day Salami Collection
Includes: Busseto salami, Creminelli salami, Saucisson Sec salami, Palacios chorizo, mature farmhouse cheddar, Dijon mustard
If you're looking for a festive way to surprise your favorite meat-lover for game day—or really any time you might want it to feel like game day—this salami collection is the ultimate choice. It includes a sampler of four different salamis from famous producers, each slowly air-dried and perfectly seasoned, with cheddar cheese and Dijon mustard to round out the spread. We like that the salami assortment is truly varied. While Buseto and Creminelli are both Italian-style, Saucisson Sec is a French-style salami and Palacios chorizo is an authentic Spanish pork salami. Bonus: This gift basket is one of the least expensive options on this list.
Gourmet Gift Baskets Ultimate Don Perignon Gift
Includes: Dom Perignon, sweet soppressata, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, oatcake biscuits, garlic cheese, smoked Gouda cheese, cheese straws, sea salt and cracked peppercorn water crackers, roasted and salted pistachios, cinnamon pecan straws, peach red pepper jelly
If you really want to make an impression, this Champagne-themed box says, “I may not know your exact taste in cheese, but I got you Champagne to go with it.” What more needs to be said? The vegan leather two-tiered suitcase, along with the Champagne, comes with sweet soppressata from Brooklyn Cured, Asiago cheese, classic Vermont sharp cheddar from Cabot, roasted and salted pistachios, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, and more.
Saxelby Cheese Beer Lover’s Box
Includes: Soft sheep and cow's milk cheese, aged cheddar, Tilsit-style cheese, salami made with brown ale, olive oil, and sea salt crackers
“No one has done more for the burgeoning American cheese industry than Anne Saxelby,” says New York Magazine. Here, she has curated a meat and cheese selection to pair perfectly with just about any beer. There’s a cave-aged cheddar from the Vermont-based Jasper Hill for the IPAs, a funky vegetal soft cheese from Crown Finish Caves for the pilsners, the beer-soaked Harpersfield Muddy River for everything else. Also included: a salami from the outstanding Charlitos Cocina made with brown ale and olive oil and sea salt crackers. Beer lovers, this is your box.
Hickory Farms All-Natural Sausage & Cheese Gift Box
Includes: Beef summer sausage, aged cheddar, creamy Gouda, Belgian ale mustard, sweet hot mustard, golden toasted crackers
Need a scrumptious cheese and meat spread that won’t break the bank? The Hickory Farms All-Natural Sausage and Cheese Box features two summer sausages, plus three-year aged cheddar and creamy Gouda. You'll also get two types of mustard—Belgian ale and sweet hot—and golden-toasted crackers for a complete spread.
What to Look for in Meat and Cheese Gift Baskets
A Reputable Source
Cheese is a living thing. A producer can send two wheels of the same cheese batch to two different purveyors and, depending on how those wheels are cared for, the cheese may taste very different. That’s why it’s so important to shop in real life with trained cheesemongers or online from cheese shops that you trust. Every recommendation on this list is a business we trust with our cheese.
A Bountiful Selection
Two blocks of cheddar with some crackers don't exactly make a great gift selection. Ideally, the cheese and meat basket that you select will have several types of cheese, several types of meat, and a few types of pairing items. If a collection is more thematic and only has one type of cheese or meat, there should be plenty of that item, and it should go well with everything else.
Everyone has different tastes, and those tastes may evolve depending on the day. When shopping for meat and cheese baskets, we recommend those that offer several types of cured meat, several styles of cheese, and both sweet and savory pairings to go along with them.
What are some common meat and cheese pairings?
Some classic pairings for a board with meat (if it’s cured meat, it’s called charcuterie) and cheese include cornichons, mustard, roasted tomatoes, and other savory snacks. Mousse-style pâtés can be very good with sweeter options, like jam. Generally, the best wine pairings are with sparkling wine or aromatic whites, like dry riesling, chenin blanc, or pinot gris. A light red, like pinot noir or gamay, can be great too.
How long does a meat and cheese gift basket last?
This depends a lot on the styles of cheese and how they’re stored in the fridge. Softer styles may last a week or more, whereas harder cheeses can last several months. Dry-cured meat, like salami, and whole muscle options, like prosciutto or jamon Iberico, can last a while, whereas something like pâté may only have a week.
Is American cheese as good as European cheese?
The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that generally European cheeses are made in a more traditional style. Some, like Gruyère, Manchego, or Parmigiano Reggiano, are name-protected, meaning that producers must follow a long set of rules to call their cheese by that name. It’s never a bad idea to include a few favorites from Europe. American cheeses are not name-protected in the same way, and we generally favor different styles. But, there are many American producers (including, but not limited to, Sweet Grass Dairy, Uplands Cheese, Rogue Creamery, and more) making cheese just as good as what’s being made in Europe.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Writer and professional cheese eater Christine Clark teaches cheese and pairing classes throughout the United States and knows how and where to get her cheese fix, no matter where she is. She is a Certified Cheese Professional through the American Cheese Society, and she teaches virtual cheese classes.