It is not until recently that I was really exposed to the art of not only eating, but appreciating cheese. Cheese to me, before this, was just another ingredient one would use in cooking, and I had no interest in those fancy cheese platters that people would so love with a glass of wine. But after gradually opening up my palate to the world of artisanal cheeses, I’ve picked out a few favourites that I now enjoy on the regular as part of my breakfast routine. Although finding the right complement to a produce that holds such strong character and flavour profile can be challenging, it is possible to find appropriate matches not just with wine, but with fruit as well. Read on to learn a thing or two about how you can easily pair different types of common cheeses with everyday fruits!
A fresh, pulled-curd cheese made from the milk of water buffalo or cows. Fresh and dairy rich, mozzarella is prized for its texture and mild creamy flavour.
Best paired with: tomatoes, strawberries, watermelons, figs, grapes, apples, pears, peaches
Cheddar is a cow’s milk cheese that originated in Somerset, England. Traditionally-made Cheddar cheese are dry and crumbly in texture, with a deep, tangy, nutty flavour – a far cry from the smooth mild American-style cheddars you might find on top of a burger.
Best paired with: figs, apples, dried fruits, autumn fruits
There are a number of hard cheeses on the market that are sold under the name “parmesan”. These are not to be confused with true Parmigiano-Reggiano, a protected cheese that can only be produced in Emilia-Romagna and Lombardia, Italy. It’s a hard, dry, crumbly cheese that has great crunch and deep caramel-y, nutty flavours.
Best paired with: apples, pears, pineapples
Ricotta differs from other cheeses because it is made from whey, which is usually a by-product of the cheese making process. It is a fresh, soft, Italian cheese with a small curd, has a light, mild flavour, and a thick texture.
Best paired with: strawberries, figs, grapes, apples, pears, peaches
Brie is the best known French cheese and has a nickname “The Queen of Cheeses”. It is a soft cheese named after the French region, Brie, where it was originally created. Its flavour is dependent on what is added to during the production process of the cheese but in general it is fruity, mild, nutty and tangy.
Best paired with: apples, berries, plums, pears and other juicy and citrusy fruits
Take a look at this fungus under a microscope, and it resembles the tufted head of a dandelion, which is why you’ll might’ve heard it being referenced to as a “bloomy rind” cheese before. Rich, buttery, and spreadable, Camembert has a mild, mushroom-y aroma.
Best paired with: apples, grapes, plums, berries
A type of Swiss cheese made from whole cow’s milk that’s firm and has fewer and smaller holes than Emmental. It has a rich, creamy, and a slightly nutty taste.
Best paired with: apples, grapes, pears, blackberries
Gouda is a semi-hard to hard cow’s milk cheese from Holland. Like Cheddar, its quality and flavour can vary wildly from the mild, creamy wax-coated lunchbox versions of our youth to those specimens that are hard, crumbly, and deeply flavourful.
Best paired with: apricots, apples, pears, grapes, blueberries
Emmental is what many people think of when they hear the term “Swiss cheese” (the cheese with holes and all). It’s considered an ‘Alpine-Style’ or “Mountain” cheese, meaning it originated from the milk of cows that are led up the Alps to graze over multiple seasons. This cheese has a certain sweetness with a piquancy that hits the back of the tongue on the finish. What is more, like all Alpine cheeses, is great melted.
Best paired with: apples, pears, dried fruits
Made from the milk of Manchega sheep, it is a firm and compact cheese. Younger manchegos have a buttery, rich texture that borders on creamy, while the aged version develops a deeply salty flavour and crunchy tyrosine crystals as it dehydrates.
Best paired with: dried apricots, apples, pears, caramelised pineapple, dates, figs.
Hailed as one of the best blue cheeses in the world, it is produced entirely from milk of ewes that feed on vast limestone plateaux (Chausses, a limestone plateau ringed with cliffs) found in the Aveyron. The blue pockets of mould that dot a chunk of Roquefort are colonies of the mould Penicillium roquefort, found naturally in the caves of Roquefort, France. It has a moist, crumbly paste, and a sharp, sweet and nutty flavour from the yeast with distinct grassiness from the sheep’s milk.
Best paired with: apples, pears, nuts, figs
Wani’s writing has always spoken on her behalf far more than the spoken word. Her emotional relationship with food is almost as intense as her crazy love for HIIT workouts. Having written all things lifestyle, Wani now embarks on her freelance journey, journalling her epicurean trails and sweaty gym sessions with relentless fervor.
[wpurp-searchable-recipe]The Perfect Match: Pairing Cheese with Fruit – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]