6 Popular Boursin Cheese Flavors, Ranked

boursin cheeses on table
boursin cheeses on table - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Growing up, I thought Boursin cheese was the pinnacle of culinary excellence and associated these small packages of foil-wrapped cheese balls (which look somewhat like little tree stumps) with fancy gatherings and parties. In other words, it was the kind of cheese my parents saved for special occasions. Of course, Boursin is delicious for many reasons beyond perceived classiness. The gourmet spreadable cheese has a singular texture where it's pleasantly creamy -- with an indulgent mouthfeel -- yet also slightly crumbly.

More than that, Boursin is absolutely bursting with whatever flavorings are included in that particular selection. But which of the brand's flavors is better than the rest? To determine this, I sampled six of Boursin's most popular varieties: Garlic & Fine Herbs, Cracked Black Pepper, Caramelized Onion & Herbs, Basil & Chive, Shallot & Chive, and Rosemary & Black Garlic.

After trying each cheese spread on a simple wheat cracker, I ranked these Boursin cheese varieties from worst to best based largely on taste (though even the lowest-ranked flavor was still fairly good). Hopefully, this will help you on your next trip to the cheese section at your local grocery store.

Some recommendations are based on firsthand impressions of promotional materials and products provided by the manufacturer.

Read more: 25 Most Popular Snacks In America Ranked Worst To Best

6. Cracked Black Pepper

Cracked Black Pepper Boursin Cheese on plate
Cracked Black Pepper Boursin Cheese on plate - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Of all the Boursin cheeses I tried, the Cracked Black Pepper disappointed me the most -- though that may be because my expectations were too high. I tend to love cracked black pepper when it's paired with cheese; take the delightful Creamy Toscano with Black Pepper from the Trader Joe's line of cheeses, or the way black pepper enlivens and seals the deal on a plate of cacio e pepe. Boursin tends to be cool, creamy, and potentially a bit stodgy, so black pepper -- with its crisp savoriness and touch of understated heat -- should be the perfect foil.

Unfortunately, this Boursin cheese didn't quite do it for me. Instead of tasting the push and pull of smooth and savory, I detected an odd sweetness that wasn't present in the rest of the Boursin cheeses (one I wasn't looking for it, that's for sure). The sweetness was interesting, yes, but personally, it did not come across in a positive way, so this comes in last place.

5. Garlic & Fine Herbs

Garlic & Fine Herbs Boursin Cheese with crackers
Garlic & Fine Herbs Boursin Cheese with crackers - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

The Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs variety sports the brand's trademark texture and taste: A soft, slightly crumbly chunk of cheese flecked with herbs. Perhaps that's why this was the most basic-tasting flavor of all the Boursin cheeses I sampled. In that sense, the Garlic & Fine Herbs cheese is an excellent gateway Boursin for anyone unsure about the brand. Then again, though it incorporates plenty of herbs, none of them stuck out enough to be identifiable, so Garlic & Fine Herbs ranks near the bottom.

The garlic is subtle and adds an aromatic depth -- if you know and like garlic, you know what I'm talking about, because nothing compares. Even if you aren't crazy about garlic, though, you likely won't find much to complain about. This variety is flavorful and goes well with most crackers, toasts, and crudites.

But there were simply more remarkable and memorable cheeses to come. The higher-ranked Boursin cheeses outranked this flavor in terms of taste and balance, and would serve well in various scenarios. I may not have any major critiques about the Garlic & Fine Herbs flavor, but I also wouldn't buy this one again unless it was my only option.

4. Shallot & Chive

Boursin shallot and chive cheese
Boursin shallot and chive cheese - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Chives and shallots are both alliums, which means they're in the same genus as onions. Given this close proximity (taxonomically speaking), both have a flavor reminiscent of onions -- just lighter and brighter. In other words, chives and shallots are a good way to infuse a Boursin cheese with freshness, as demonstrated by this variety.

When I first tried this flavor, I thought about breakfast. Chives are often used in omelets, after all, and make many appearances on cream-cheese schmeared bagels. If you enjoy savory breakfasts, then, you might really enjoy the Shallot & Chive Boursin cheese. Additionally, this cheese tasted bright and fresh, rather than heavy, which I greatly enjoyed. Pungent and bold flavors (like black pepper and garlic) find their way into many Boursin varieties, so this one gives you a bit of a break on that front.

Now, the Shallot & Chive Boursin flavor wasn't quite as extraordinary as the top three varieties, hence it's bottom half placement. But like most Boursin flavors -- even the lower-ranked entries -- it's still worth a try. In fact, I would definitely purchase it for tucking into omelets (check out our list of tips for making omelets to help you become a true expert).

3. Basil & Chive

Boursin cheese basil and chive
Boursin cheese basil and chive - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

If you recall, I was wary of the sweetness in the Cracked Black Pepper variety. However, there's another Boursin flavor that's inherently sweet -- though you'll actually expect and enjoy the taste given it's from basil. Now, there are also chives in this gourmet cheese flavor, but far as I was concerned? It was all about that classic, lovely herb called basil.

Basil comes through strongly in every bite, so if you're a big fan (like I am), you'll absolutely love this one. I could actually taste the little ribbons of sweet Italian basil within the cheese. It was almost like someone had picked the herb from a plant on their terrace an hour before, roughly chopped it up, then folded it right into the cheese –– all just for me. Yes, this sounds ridiculous, but that's how fresh and floral this cheese tastes.

Make fun of me all you want for waxing poetic, but I say this flavor is truly evocative of a sunny Mediterranean day -- so much so that I nearly ranked it in the number two spot. But seeing how basil can be a bit of a niche flavor (it doesn't always go with everything, for instance), this Boursin cheese is slightly less versatile on a cheese board than the top two entries.

2. Caramelized Onion & Herbs

Boursin Caramelized Onion & Herbs cheese
Boursin Caramelized Onion & Herbs cheese - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

The process of caramelization takes something as simple and unassuming as raw onion and turns it into a sweet and savory accoutrement that elevates just about any dish to a whole new level. In that sense, the Caramelized Onion & Herbs Boursin flavor tasted fancy (for lack of a better word), though not quite as fancy as the Rosemary & Black Garlic. Still, no one is going to mistake this for cream cheese, so this belongs near the top of the list.

Now, every Boursin cheese is meant to be enjoyed in dainty doses -- spread on a cracker or carrot stick, for instance -- and the more intense flavors prove this point. But the Caramelized Onion & Herbs flavor lends itself particularly well to a buttery, flaky cracker, or perhaps a nice, toasted wheat one. Just don't go with anything too bold, because you're going to want to taste the delicious, warm flavors in the cheese.

This variety was a favorite due to the way it incorporates the signature Boursin herbs, while still teasing out the primary onion flavor with distinction. It's very nearly the most artful and expensive-tasting cheese Boursin has to offer -- with the exception of the winning flavor, which is why I placed the Caramelized Onion & Herbs flavor second.

1. Rosemary & Black Garlic

Rosemary & Black Garlic
Rosemary & Black Garlic - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

At the start of this article, I mentioned that Boursin cheese has always seemed quite chic to me (maybe it was the French name, now that I think about it). Of course, if you're going to try and feel fancy by eating cheese -- which is always a good idea -- why not go all the way and choose the fanciest-tasting cheese Boursin has to offer? That, friends, would be the Rosemary & Black Garlic flavor, which takes the top spot as a result.

While different herbs have different vibes, the delicate fragrance and subtle piquancy of rosemary is impeccably elegant. Frankly, since adding a sprig of rosemary elevates many dishes, I wish more cheeses included rosemary. Imagine baked brie with rosemary, rosemary-speckled cheddars, goat cheese logs rolled in rosemary ... the list goes on. Clearly, Boursin knows what it's doing with this flavor, and I'm not forgetting the black garlic, either.

Regular garlic is a thing of beauty, of course, but have you ever tried black garlic? Essentially, it's garlic that's been fermented to create a complex, concentrated flavor without that sharp, polarizing edge. It goes so well with the natural, fresh taste of rosemary, and the two elements play off each other beautifully in this cheese variety. The flavors meld to create a lovely, impeccable Boursin cheese, so it takes first place in these rankings.


boursin cheese and crackers on table
boursin cheese and crackers on table - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

I must admit I was delighted to receive these cheeses (courtesy of Boursin) for this article. After all, Boursin is good enough for the great Padma Lakshmi, so it's good enough for me. On that note, every cheese was tasty, including the lowest-ranked flavor, but the top cheese really blew me away. In fact, while some flavors didn't seem like a great idea initially, I was immediately humbled upon trying them.

Since the base of Boursin cheese doesn't really change much (and is reliably delicious), the factors I took into consideration weren't so much the quality of the cheese itself. Rather, the most important factors were how well the added flavors worked with the cheese. The higher-ranked entries made the most of their flavor combinations and were blended to perfection. The top pick is something I wouldn't think twice about serving at a nice get-together and would go so far as to seek it out -- that's how good it is.

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