Ultimate Italian Cheese Plate

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Italian Trade Commission / The Extraordinary Italian Taste for IZEA Worldwide. All opinions are 100% mine.

The Ultimate Italian Cheese Plate – how to make a cheese and antipasti plate full of cheese, meat, crackers, and treats for a hearty, easy meal that is full of flavor and great for entertaining or pairing with wines imported from Italy!  


If you’re looking for more info on how you can bring the flavors of Italy home, please visit: italianmade.com/usa.

The Ultimate Italian Cheese Plate

Cheese plates, for me, are an epic easy meal – full of rich and delicious meats and cheeses, fresh and marinated vegetables, crackers, breads, fruit, and even sweets – for a make-your-own favorite combination meal that is perfect for parties, casual dinners, happy hour, picnics, or a cozy and romantic night in.

I was on a mission recently to highlight all things deliciously Italy – and focus on rich, delicious Italian flavors from delicious Imported Italian finds I grabbed at my local cheese shop.

This Italian themed cheese plate is elegant and delicious, with tons of tips to make your own perfect Italian cheese and antipasti plate for a dinner party!

If you’re looking to bring the flavors of Italy home, it’s never been easier. With numerous Italian brands imported to America, you can make your own deliciously Italian themed meals to celebrate the rich flavors of Italy.

How to Find Certified Italian Imported Foods

The EU has implemented a regional designation scheme for protected foods all over Europe – making it easy to find and identify authentic Italian foods based not only on their country of origin – but often their region as well.

Looking for certified products ensures you’re selecting authentic Italian made food – for the best, most true to Italy flavor, no matter where in the world you are!

Discover more about your favorite Italian foods.

To learn more about certified Italian products, please watch the video below:

What Types of Cheese to Serve on a Cheese Plate

With so many delicious cheeses imported from Italy that are readily available in the US, there is no shortage of ideas for cheeses you can use for a knockout cheese plate your guests will rave over. I like to focus on themes for cheese, and then pick a couple types of cheese within the theme: something soft, something creamy, something hard, and something salty.

Taleggio PDO

Taleggio PDO is a soft, rich, sweet and very slightly sour cheese from raw cow’s milk that is excellent with bread, crackers, and fruit.

Mozzarella di Bufala Campana PDO


Mozzarella di Bufala Campana PDO is a soft, porcelain white cheese that is usually round but sometimes braided or in small balls. It has a creamy rich flavor that is very mild and great with vegetables, breads, salads, and over pizzas and pastas.


For the best flavor, eat mozzarella the day it’s bought – but you can keep it in the refrigerator in it’s own liquid to keep your mozzarella fresh and full of rich, creamy flavor!


Fontina PDO

Fontina PDO is a semi-cooked cheese with a distinct flavor – it is elastic and soft, with a light and delicate flavor. Fontina pairs excellently with crackers and meats – as well as fruits or sweets.

Parmigiano-Reggiano PDO


Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is often called the king of cheeses – and has a sharp, complex fruity/nutty taste with a strong savory flavor and a slightly gritty texture. Parmigiano-Reggiano PDO is amazing on crackers, with fruit and meat, over pasta, meats, and salads – it is incredibly versatile and great to add a salty kick to foods as a finishing touch.


Piave PDO

Piave PDO is one of my all-time favorite cheeses – and always the first cheese gone at my parties. Piave PDO has a fruity, salty, and rich flavor – that only strengthens over time. Piave does become more intense as it ages – but never becomes funky or pungent.

Asiago PDO

Asiago Aged PDO is a deliciously salty strong and savory flavor that pairs perfectly with bread, meats, vegetables, or shredded over pastas, salads, and meats.

What Antipasti to Add to A Cheese Plate



Prosciutto di Parma PDO

Prosciutto di Parma PDO is my number one go-to for a cheese plate – the mild dry cured pork is perfect with fruit, cheese, vegetables and just on its own.

Speck Alto Adige PDI

Speck Alto Adige PDI is a delicious, intense but not salty lightly smoked and cured ham.

Salamini Italiani alla Cacciatora PDO


Salamini Italiani alla Cacciatora PDO have light, slightly sweet, and never sour flavor that is heavenly paired with cheeses, bread, crackers, and in salads and sandwiches.

Fresh Vegetables, Peppers, and Pickled Goods

Carrots and Celery

Fresh, crunchy vegetables help break up some of the rich, salty flavors on a cheese board – and help to cleanse your palate in between different types of cheese and meats.


Italian olives are rich, buttery, and tangy – and perfect for a cheese plate!

Opt for lots of different kinds of olives imported from Italy and try to see which color is your favorite!

Since color is so important as we eat, olives give a great way to add lots of color to your cheese plate easily – I love adding Ligurian Taggiasche olives and Bella di Cerignola olives from Apulia for variation in color and flavor.

Marinated Peppers

Marinated peppers – from sweet, to spicy, to roasted peppers – are a must on any of my cheese plates! I like spicy peppers, hot peppers, sugary sweet peppers, and salty, earthy red peppers – so I often try to add a big mix to my cheese boards to try different flavors with each cheese and meat.

Breads and Crackers for a Cheese Plate  

Breads and crackers are essential for a delicious cheese plate – they help cut funky cheese, enhance the buttery flavor of cheese, and help to contain soft, creamy cheeses in a manageable bite.

I like to have a mixture of soft bread and crunchy crackers, some thin and crisp, and some a bit more bread-like. I also LOVE serving long, thin breadstick crackers with cheese and meats!


Honey, Jams, Jelly, and Sweets to Add to a Cheese Plate

Honey, jams, jellies, candy, and cookies can help break up your cheese plate and all of the heavy, rich cheeses and meats – and bring out flavors you might not get from your cheese without the sweet pairings. While you’ll want to go light on the sweets, they are delicious with rich and creamy cheeses, as well as soft buttery cheeses. And who doesn’t love to finish their meal with a little candy, or even better, a lovely Italian espresso?


-Honey is perfect drizzled over hard, dry cheeses (like Asiago PDO or Piave PDO) as well as soft, buttery cheeses (Taleggio PDO.)

Jams and Jellies

-Sweet jams, syrupy fruit (like cherries in syrup), or fruit jellies are delicious over hard, salty cheese as well as soft, buttery cheeses (like brie, chevre, farmers cheese.) -Savory/Spicy jams and jellies (like jalapeno jelly, tomato jam, or onion jam) are delicious with salty, rich, and fatty cheeses and pungent cheese.

Sweet Candies

-Candy is delicious with dry, salty cheese (anything hard and aged), to pull out the nutty flavors in the cheese. Jelly candies that are fruit flavored are my favorite cheese plate addition.


-Almond or chocolate biscotti are perfect as light palate cleansers in between cheeses, or after your cheese and meat dinner with an espresso.

Amaretti Cookies

-Amaretti Cookies are my absolute favorite way to end a meal – and pair perfectly with nutty, dry cheeses like an aged gouda, piave, or aged cheddar. 


If you’re looking for more info on how you can bring the flavors of Italy home, please visit: italianmade.com/usa.





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About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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  1. tsSLAueP says:


  2. Krissy Allori says:

    This would be a beautiful platter to have at a get together!

  3. Allyson Zea says:

    Oh my word! This looks so fresh and delicious! Definitely saves money making this at home! Thanks!

  4. Julie says:

    You’re speaking my love language! I’d love this for lunch/dinner – with wine, of course!

  5. Michael says:

    Cheese plates are MY FAVORITE!! This look exceptional! I love all the creative ingredients you used. YUM!

    xo Michael

  6. Tara says:

    Not just an appetizer — this is my idea of a perfect dinner!