Not everyone will jump at the idea of pairing cheese and chocolate for a tasting, 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.
Cheese and Chocolate Pairing: Getting Started
Cheese and chocolate are both so bold that the thought of pairing them might seem difficult for a novice. Pairing dark chocolate with a Brie wheel is a good way to start your chocolate and cheese adventure and can set the evening off in a delicious direction.
It’s best to choose a variety of chocolates 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. A good place to start includes Vermont Butter and Cheese’s Bijou (an aged goat cheese), Pierre Robert triple cream cheese, Mahón Reserva aged paprika-rind sheep cheese, and 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 getting influenced by your last tasting.
Cheese and Chocolate Pairing: Ideas
The Mahón and Valdéon, the two strongest cheese choices, pair well with chocolate-covered salted caramels, while the Pierre Robert is lovely with a wider variety of chocolates due to its mild creaminess.
Other good pairing ideas include combining dark chocolate truffles with Portugal’s Azeitao sheep’s milk cheese or with an Italian Naturale Taleggio, which is a washed-rind cow’s milk cheese.
A dark chocolate 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 that 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 of cheese and chocolate.