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Cheese and chocolate pairing - 5 matches made in heaven

What better way to welcome in the harvest season than with the rich, buttery aroma of warm caramel just waiting to coat an apple fresh from the tree? Caramel is delicious, but can be sticky, messy and difficult to keep its temperature, even when left in a pot on the stove.

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October 8, 2015 at 4:25:26 PM PDT October 8, 2015 at 4:25:26 PM PDTth, October 8, 2015 at 4:25:26 PM PDT
Not everyone will jump at the idea of cheese and chocolate pairing, but foodies are starting to tune into this epicurean delight. Once you discover some great matches, the idea is perfect for your next dinner party.

Getting started

Cheese and chocolate are both so bold that the thought of pairing them might not immediately float your boat – or indeed whet your appetite. But teaming cheese up with chocolate can send your soiree off in a deliciously decadent direction. Pairing dark chocolate with a Brie wheel, for example, is a palatable and sophisticated way to start your chocolate and cheese adventure. A general rule of thumb is to choose a variety of chocolate from a well-known chocolate brand rather than what you would find at the checkout aisle in a grocery store. Visiting a specialty cheese shop can also help you get started if you tell the proprietor how you’d like to use the cheese. Ideal varieties include:
  • Vermont Butter and Cheese’s Bijou (an aged goat cheese)
  • Pierre Robert triple cream cheese
  • Mahón Reserva aged paprika-rind sheep cheese
  • Valdéon cow’s milk blue cheese
It’s always a good idea to keep plenty of water and bread or crackers on hand to cleanse your palette between tastings. Most pairings are strong enough on their own without being influenced by your last tasting.

Cheese and chocolate pairing ideas

The Mahón and Valdéon, the two strongest cheese choices, pair well with salted caramel. Pierre Robert's mild creaminess meanwhile is lovely with a wider variety of chocolates. Other good pairing ideas include combining dark chocolate truffles with Portugal’s Azeitao sheep’s milk cheese. Dark chocolate truffles also go well with an Italian Naturale Taleggio, which is a washed-rind cow’s milk cheese. And a truffle rolled in cocoa powder will pair nicely with a soft cow’s milk cheese called Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam Triple Cream cheese. Finally, try pairing hazelnut praline dark chocolate truffle with a French goat’s milk cheese like Sevre and Belle. Not all your cheese and chocolate pairings will be a success, but tasting is half the fun! The other half is discovering a truly delicious pairing you can always turn to once the mood strikes. Take your time and try different amounts of the same cheese and chocolate pairing and take notes. Then, the next time you host a cheese and chocolate event, you can guide your friends on this exciting journey.