Cheese and crackers are among life's simple pleasures. No matter when or how you serve them—as an afternoon snack, appetizer, party dish, dessert course, while on a road trip, or for a quick pick-me-up at school or work—there are few situations that cheese and crackers aren't appropriate.
When it comes to choosing a cracker to serve with cheese, your supermarket's cracker aisle is full of choices. But when you want to serve a cracker with a little more character, one that elevates the cheese and brings the pairing of cheese and crackers to a whole new level, then try one of these.
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La Panzanella Croccantini
La Panzanella started as a Seattle bakery and café, but everything changed when the owner's Italian mother came up with a recipe for Croccantini ("crunchy little bite"). The company now focuses on baking these thin, crunchy crackers that pair beautifully with all types of cheese. The mini Croccantini are especially easy to serve with a cheese plate. The full-size crackers are a hit with Stilton, for example. Spread the crackers around the cylinders of cheese for an artful look.
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At first bite, these Scottish biscuits might taste a little too healthy but the delicately sweet, oaty flavor will quickly become addictive, especially when served with soft goat cheeses, triple cremes, and cheddar. If you're serving the biscuits with a soft cheese, spread them in a circle around the dish with the cheese. For harder cheeses, such as cheddar, slice the cheese and lay the pieces in alternating rows with the crackers.
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Tortas de Aceite
Thin and slightly crispy Spanish tortas are flavored with olive oil, sugar, and a hint of anise. Tortas are delicious served with coffee and with soft, mild cheeses, such as Camembert or Brie. If you're more into a Spanish cheese, try manchego, which has a similar taste to Monterey Jack. The cheese should stand up to the anise and not clash.
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These Australian crackers are wafer-thin and have an airy texture. They will not compete for attention; rather, they let the cheese be the star. Pick a Brie or perhaps a goat cheese. Don't forget the cheese knife because you don't want cracked crackers. For something special, consider a slightly tart layer of jam before adding the cheese.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Daelia's Biscuits for Cheese
Like thin biscotti, these nut and dried fruit-studded biscuits add a nice crunchy texture and slight sweetness to cheese. They pair well with goat cheese, Brie, and semihard sheep's milk cheeses. You might consider letting the cheese determine your presentation; Brie takes a soft spreader while the sheep's milk offerings can be served with a cheese fork.
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Urban Oven Crackers
These crackers used to be known as Starr Ridge, and while they've changed the name the crackers are still delicious. Fairly thick with a hearty olive oil flavor, they are especially good with aged cheeses such as Gruyère, Cheddar, Comte, and Gouda. Keep your Comte in the refrigerator until just before serving, and be sure to peel the coating off your Gouda before putting it on your serving plate.