Though we never need any excuse to get indulgent with our favorite potions and devilishly cheese-y concoctions, we at Antonelli’s Cheese truly come alive for Halloween. Countless friends of Antonelli’s cite All Hallow’s Eve as their all-time favorite holiday, and with the childlike joy of Halloween’s ‘anything goes’ spirit, we can absolutely understand why!
Halloween is also a harbinger for the Antonelli’s Cheese family – it marks the starting line for our exuberant Holiday season! Traditions will abound now through January (or February, if you include our annual Anniversary Week), and it feels serendipitous that the least fussy celebrations of all come first, easing everyone into this season of festivity.
So, what are some of our favorite cheese-y Halloween traditions? One of the most highly coveted ‘hot tickets’ on our yearly Events calendar, our “Halloween Candy & Cheese” gatherings boldly unveil some of the most outside-the-box cheese pairings we’ve ever created. This adventure has created such a sensation in the past – Buzzfeed even tracked us down to see what the “buzz” is all about. Check out the Buzzfeed team going bravely where no influencer has gone before!
Another favorite skele-fun Halloween delight, we present our Halloween Char-Boo-Terie Boards, featuring curated cheese, meat and accompaniment selections, all trimmed with thrilling seasonal delights. Not only do these boards cover all the bases to delight friends and family, they are the actual star of the show – delivering just the right balance of spooky and tasty to your Halloween get-togethers. With several options for pick up or delivery (and handy add-ons available, such as Bread & Crackers and Wine), we make sure your Halloween entertaining is as effortless as possible.
After years of fine-tuning the tricks and treats of our Halloween traditions, we have compiled the definitive Top Ten Halloween home runs of all time. (Please note: these are ordered by style of cheese, rather than ‘rank,’ as each and every ghoul has their own uniquely perceptive palate. Simply pick your faves – and dive in!). And before you get to the trick o’ treating, here’s a quick note. It’s easy to pair chocolate (or any chocolate confection with cheese); however, for the sake of incorporating some other iconic Halloween candies, we mixed it up. It’s a lot harder to pair high sugar confections with cheese. So be open-minded and let your palate go on an adventure! Some may strike you as frighteningly wild, but we stand behind them with the conviction of a scary Muenster! Y’all ready to have a gourd time? Hop on this hayride, and here we go!
Antonelli’s Cheese Best of Halloween Candy Pairings:
Here’s our Top 10!
Fresh Chevre + Sour Gummy Worms
- Fresh Chevre: bright and acidic, with a hint of minerality
- Sour Gummy Worms: tangy, tart, with granular sugar-sprinkled coating
- Selected taster comment: “Like a goat cheese Halloween pinata!”
- In this “Like-Loves-Like” pairing, tangy interplay is balanced within a foundation of lactic sweetness
- Beverage Pairing: A slightly off-dry white, like Riesling or Pinot Grigio, needs no invite to become the life of this party
Kunik + Hot Tamales
- Kunik: A ‘Triple-SCREAM-Brie,’ beautifully balancing goat milk and cow cream
- Hot Tamales: Inspired by tamales of the ancient Aztecs, a firm ‘shell’ holds a spicy chew
- Selected taster comment: “This is Willy Wonka’s perfected butter, spice, and mushroom sweet tamale!”
- John Antonelli himself is the lead pairing visionary around here – so don’t second guess – it just works!
- Beverage pairing: Perfect, perfect with your favorite crisp bubbles (and sparkling mineral water is also fantastic here!)
Cana de Oveja + Snickers
- Cana de Oveja: Decadent sheep milk richness conquers the palate; its bloomy rind contributes to a peppery finish
- Snickers: Caramel, nougat, peanuts, and milk chocolate. What’s not to love?!
- Selected taster comment: “A Dairy Queen Blizzard – interpreted as a high-end dessert.”
- Sheep milk is known for being nutty and rich, so we matched it fire-with-fire with nutty, rich Snickers
- Beverage Pairing: Malty, chocolate-y, creamy stouts and porters are a match made in Halloween heaven for this combo!
Red Hawk + Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Red Hawk: Funky aromas are ‘all bark and no bite’ within this super savory and buttery washed rind cheese
- Reece’s: Handily mirrors savory with its salty undercurrent; perfectly sweet, with a hypnotic texture
- Selected taster comment: “Is this some kind of sorcery? This is kindred perfection!”
- Something magic happens within this cornerstone of our Halloween tastings. Like people with identical costumes, these two were made to find each other
- Beverage Pairing: Gamay and Beaujolais Nouveau are the right idea here – reach for the jammy notes, while keeping things fluid and light
Ossau Iraty + Peach Gummi Rings
- Ossau Iraty: From France’s Basque country, this time-tested recipe is a sure bet, showcasing glimmers of white pepper and mushroom in a supple, high butterfat bite
- Peach Gummi Rings: A burst of peachy sweetness emerges from sandpapery-sugared gummi rings
- Selected taster comment: “Like peaches and cream, this is straight peachy keen.”
- Accessible and lovable to most all, our top seller at any given time is likely Ossau Iraty, and peach gummi rings relay bright flavors while deftly complimenting Ossau’s texture
- Beverage Pairing: A dry white varietal from the French Jura region (such as Savagnin) meets the cheese – and gummi peach rings – where they’re at, teasing a symphony of reciprocity
1655 Gruyere + Swedish Fish
- 1655 Gruyere: Tried and true Alpine style cheese displays a silken texture and fudge-y mouthfeel, revealing sweet, cashew-nutty flavors
- Swedish Fish: By Swedes, for Americans, this fish-shaped, wine gum candy possesses a vague and exotic lingonberry flavor profile
- Selected taster comment: “The taste-buds are alive with the thrill of deliciousness!”
- This cheeky combo comes together with textural parallels, then opens up to a spirited interchange of balanced, yet adventurous, flavor notes
- Beverage Pairing: A delicate sparkling wine or dry, white wine, with aromas of apple, citrus, pineapple or grape, will elevate this pairing to Alpine heights.
Cabot Clothbound + Caramel Flavored Candy Corn (the original inspiration)
- Cabot Clothbound: Sweet and salty, creamy yet crumbly, with a caramel-toffee-butterscotch hook
- Candy Corn Pumpkins: Creamy-firm fondant texture; rich marshmallow notes, warm vanilla tones. Pro-tip: If you can seek out the caramel-flavored candy corns, these pair best!
- Selected taster comment: “This is making me love a candy I don’t like. Yum!”
- A “salty-meets-sweet” pairing – a flavor incantation most everyone loves to ‘gobblin’ right up – common denominators in texture come together like witches around the cauldron
- Beverage Pairing: Accent this Halloween-perfect pair with off-dry sparkling apple cider or a favorite hoppy ale
Parmigiano-Reggiano + Tropical Starbursts
- Parmigiano-Reggiano: Its status as ‘The King of Cheeses’ is indisputable – utterly multi-faceted, wildly diverse in flavor notes, and with countless applications – it reigns supreme indeed
- Tropical Starbursts: An array of flavors provides kaleidoscopic insights into the aromatic mystique of Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Selected taster comment: [Taster’s eyes closed in euphoria] “I did not expect this one to take me to Bimini…Umbrella drink, please.”
- Parmigiano-Reggiano carries some flavor compounds that yield unexpected sensations, such as pineapple and mango. Leaning into this, we delight in the distinctive fireworks each Tropical Starburst flavor ignites
- Beverage Pairing: Prosecco! Prosecco! Prosecco!
Red Rock Blue + Butterfinger
- Red Rock Blue: Wisconsin-made, but steeped in Britishness, this blue cheese pleases even blue-haters with its smooth cheddar depths and mild blue veining
- Butterfinger: Craveable since 1923, this butterscotch-y brittle bar is leveled out with a creamy coat of milk chocolate
- Selected taster comment: “Just looking at this pairing makes me excited for Halloween.”
- Talk about “Fire-with-Fire,” Red Rock Blue and Butterfinger are fated soulmates, relating through friable (crumbly) texture, a shared color palette, and nutty, buttery flavors
- Beverage Pairing: An Old Vine Zinfandel will pleasurably weave through this combo, settling into a savory back-and-forth. If your (wise) instincts are nudging Bourbon or single-malt Scotch – follow them
Blue Paradise + Kit Kat (Pro-tip Freeze before pairing)
- Blue Paradise: A true (and more intense) ‘BOO! cheese,’ the Blue Paradise cheese recipe calls for pours of pure cream, taking this blue to double-cream heights
- Kit Kat Frozen: A chocolate and wafer frozen delight, drenched in a milk chocolate-y shell and studded with crushed pieces of classic Kit Kat
- Selected taster comment: “Absolutely next level. So phenomenal, I’m actually speechless.”
- Thinking outside the box is an Antonelli’s hallmark, and we’re pretty proud of pulling this one off. Everything we’ve loved about pairing with classic Kit Kat for Halloween’s past, but with more bone-chilling thrill!
- Beverage Pairing: If ever there was a time for a sweet-ish Port, it’s calling (from inside the house). Big, bold reds shine here as well
Ok, compiling this Top 10 has left us thoroughly spooked, hungry – and hyped! – for All Hallow’s Eve. To join in our exuberant Halloween spirit, be sure to check out our Events calendar to secure tickets for our “Halloween Cheese & Candy” celebrations!
If we’ve gotten your wheels turning with these electrifying approaches to pairing cheese with – well, anything, really – come on and visit us at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, where every cheesemonger is a seasoned pairing pro. We love to explore and discover (we’ll crack open just about anything to taste with you), and we'll be looking forward to getting ghoulish in person with you!
Looking for more of a home-based Halloween? Order your own Halloween Char-Boo-Terie Board, complete with curated cheeses, meats and accompaniments, all devilishly decorated for your favorite dark night. Whether pick up or delivery, simply add on any desired trimmings, such as Bread & Crackers and Wine.
Want some more recommendations? Watch our Halloween Candy & Cheese Box Tasting Video from 2023 for more pairing ideas and to hear why our Certified Cheese Professionals created these combos.
All Treats, and no Tricks! Happy Halloween to All!