Gone are the days of advent calendars that offer little more than a picture behind each miniature cardboard door. With more and more novelty advent calendars hitting the shops every year, the countdown to Christmas day has never been a more thrilling, or rewarding, affair. There are calendars for gin-lovers, chocolate-fanatics, wine-connoisseurs and beer buffs, as well as ones filled with jam, popcorn and, yes, even hot sauce. But the ones we're crooning over right now are cheese advent calendars - and we've scoured the web for some of the best.
This year, we're pretty impressed by the brie-lliant (sorry) cheese-filled options out there. Who wouldn’t want to spend the 24 days leading up to Christmas nibbling on bitesize hunks of the delicious dairy item? While cheese advent calendars may not have ascertained the notoriety that, say, chocolate calendars have over the years, we predict they’re going to be a big hit in 2021 and beyond.
But we get it – not all cheeses are created equal in everyone’s eyes, with different varieties offering something totally unique. Whether you prefer your cheese smoky, tangy, dusty or salty, these cheese advent calendars all offer multiple types to ensure there’s something for everyone behind each little door. You’ll even find a selection of mini chutneys and crackers to pair with your cheese bounty.
Check out our pick of the very best cheese advent calendars this year (and you could always choose a suitable wine to match each one).
As for the ambiguous question: do you need to store your cheese calendar in the fridge? Yes, preferably in a cold environment at five degrees or less.
The Chuckling Cheese Company Cheese Advent Calendar
What: This cheesy calendar offers the whole package. Alongside cheese flavours such as smoked, vintage, red onion, orange and whisky and Sunday roast, you’ll also find six mini chutneys and six mini crackers to pair each of them with (if you can hold off eating the cheeses for that long!). This advent calendar would make a great early Christmas present for a cheese-loving friend.
How much: £29.99
Buy the Chucking Cheese Company Cheese Advent Calendar
Ilchester Cheese Advent Calendar
What: Designed and produced by Annem Hobson of blog So Wrong It’s Nom, this book-style cheese calendar is crammed with nine different types of cheese, including Applewood Vintage, Mature Cheddar, Red Leicester, Double Gloucester, Apple, Onion and Sage Cheddar and more. All the cheeses are wrapped in recyclable packaging - and it’s practical too. Once you’ve finished the first 12 cheeses, simply tear off one half of the calendar to save you some extra fridge space.
How much: £8
Buy the Illchester Cheese Advent Calendar at Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Lidl, Ocado and Booths (North of England), from early November
Giant Welsh Cheese Advent Calendar
What: Measuring more than a metre wide and containing a whopping 4.2 kilos of artisan cheese, this calendar is a cheese lover's dream come true. Inside, you can find 24 different kinds of Welsh cheese, ranging from creamy soft varieties to punchy cheddars and blues. Maybe just avoid any mistletoe after feasting on this one…
How much: £149
Buy The Giant Welsh Cheese Advent Calendar
Cheesies Advent Calendar
What: Behind all 24 doors of this cheese-imbued calendar you'll find a bag of crispy cheese snacks in six different varieties: Cheddar, Red Leicester, Gouda, Emmental, Goat's Cheese, and limited-edition Chilli Cheddar Cheese. But what is a cheesie you ask? They're a bit like a cheesy crouton. Made from 100% cheese and baked until crisp, they're crunchy, tasty balls of cheese joy. Snacking in December is set to look a little different this year...
How much: £29.99
Buy the Cheesies Advent Calendar
All cheesed out? Take a look at 27 of the best Christmas food hampers for 2021