5 Best Crackers for Salami and Cheese (+ 1 Bonus Option)
It’s easy to overlook the amount of planning a charcuterie board takes if you’re not the one doing it. As a guest, you’re too busy admiring the offerings. But it can be daunting to consider which cheese pairs with which salami on what cracker if you’re the host.
Water crackers are always the best bet for any salami and cheese pairing because of their lack of flavor. Water crackers don’t interfere with any flavor profile and provide a pleasant, crunchy texture on a stable surface.
That’s not to say the other crackers aren’t suitable on a charcuterie board. With hundreds of possible combinations, you’re sure to find a winner. Let’s look at some of the best crackers to pair with salami and cheese.
Whole Wheat Crackers
Whole wheat crackers are always a popular choice because of their fiber content and (depending on which brand you buy) their relatively low sodium content. It helps that they taste pleasant on their own, too.
If you pair these crackers with salami and cheese, confirm what kind of cracker you have first: solid ones like Wheat Thins or woven ones like Triscuit. Their texture difference dramatically affects what you can pair with them.
If you have solid ones, consider pairing them with a semi-soft cheese like Havarti. You want the cheese to hold its own but not too hard that it competes against the cracker. And because Havarti is a creamy, nutty cheese, a dry salami with herby notes like soppressata can round out the experience.
But if you have a woven cracker, it’s best to pair it with a solid cheese like Cheddar or Gouda. Woven crackers crumble easily once you start chewing on them, so it’s up to the cheese to provide stability. And to complement the cheese foundation, thinly-sliced prosciutto should pair nicely.
Nothing beats a scrumptious, mouthwatering, decadent butter cracker or Ritz if you’re used to referring to them that way. They’re delicious enough to eat on their own, but imagine the flavors if you pair them with cheese and salami!
One thing to remember about butter crackers is that they’re typically salty, so it’s best to pair them with a creamy, mild cheese that’s soft or semi-soft. Brie, goat cheese, Havarti, and even cream cheese are great options that would go well with the reliable Genoa salami.
And if you don’t feel like Genoa salami, don’t worry: as long as it’s not dry, you can put it on a butter cracker.
Water crackers are the king of charcuterie boards. Their flavor-neutral profile (aka bland) goes well with just about anything. The challenge is figuring out what combination you want: bold cheese with delicate cured meat or mild cheese with a heavily-seasoned salami.
One exciting combination you could do is brie with dry salami on water crackers. Bonus points if you can soften the brie with heat – it’ll coat the dry salami well while coating your tongue with creamy, cheesy goodness.
Or how about prosciutto with shaved parmesan? The water cracker won’t interrupt the delicate balance between the aged saltiness of the prosciutto and the parmesan’s umami.
There are more combinations you can do with water crackers, so be creative and experiment away!
Loads of herb crackers are available, ranging from single herbs like rosemary or thyme to mixed herbs. You can even find ones flavored with garlic or other non-herb tastes.
Remembering that herb crackers already have an established flavor, make sure your cheese and salami don’t compete with the cracker’s flavor. They might be the star of the show, but different strong flavors competing with each other is not a pleasant experience. Balance is key.
Provolone, mozzarella, gorgonzola, or even goat cheese are perfect with herb crackers. As for the salami, muted ones like mild soppressata or Felino salami are best. Try capicola with provolone on a rosemary cracker if you want a more robust flavor profile.
Pita chips are always associated with hummus, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them with cheese. They’re similar to water crackers with their flavor-neutralness but not as bland and fragile.
Feta cheese tops the list for cheese pairings with pita, making it perfect for Genoa salami and pepperoni. The combination of relatively mild cheese and a mild to moderately-flavored salami works better with solid pita chips.
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try the classic pita and hummus pairing with provolone and Genoa salami? The hummus gives an interesting texture and extra background flavor, letting the Genoa salami take the spotlight as you eat them. Provolone cheese gives it some creaminess without overpowering anything, and the humble pita is the carrier.
Bonus Option: Crostini
Crostini may be crunchy, but it’s not a cracker. They are “little toasts,” as its Italian name suggests, made from slices of crusty bread such as baguettes. Their stability and snack-friendly size make them excellent carriers for cheese and salami.
Because crostini can be quite hard and thick, it’s better to use soft and mild cheeses such as goat cheese, cream cheese, or even ricotta. As for the meat topping, we want something that’s thinly sliced with prominent flavors – prosciutto, peppered salami, and capicola fit the bill.