As lovers of all things cheesy, we really believe that cheese is absolutely wonderful on its own – just the way it is! However certain pairings or accompaniments, can not only taste pleasant alongside the cheese but actually enhance the flavour and actually improve upon the cheese tasting experience.
Lots of people know the basics when it comes to deciding what to eat with cheese. It is easy to guess that you can’t really go wrong by adding a few good quality crackers to a cheese board. They go together like strawberries and cream or peanut butter and jam! But where should you go from here when deciding what to eat with cheese?
If you are looking to really impress at your next dinner party, then why not give the below suggestions a try and see if you can protract some squeals of delight and nods of approval from your guests.
As with all foods, the quality of the ingredients really counts when deciding what to eat with cheese. Get the best you can afford and enjoy in smaller quantities – good for your waistline too!
What twhao eat with Fresh Cheese
Usually soft and creamy in texture but mild in flavour, fresh cheeses can be paired easily with stronger flavours. Ricotta and Mascarpone are good examples of fresh cheese. These are the types of cheeses that can easily be made into spreads or dips.
The exception is Feta which is still classified as a fresh cheese but has a more vibrant tangy flavour and crumbly texture than other fresh cheeses.
- Honey or Maple Syrup: Pair a young fresh goats cheese with either honey or maple syrup, for a wonderful mix of salty and sweet.
- Calamata Olives: Calamata olives have a chewy, succulent texture and strong salty flavour, making them a perfect pairing for fresh cheese.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: You can really appreciate the complexity of a good quality extra virgin olive oil when paired with a mild fresh cheese. It really allows the olive oil to shine through. Serve with some Sourdough and you have a simple starter.
Recipe Idea: Wrap some good quality feta sprinkled with chilli flakes in some foil and bake in the oven until hot. Serve on a wedge of cool watermelon with a drizzle of honey and some rocket as a flavoursome vegetarian starter recipe.
What to Eat with Soft Cheese
Soft cheeses like Brie and Camembert, when eaten at the right time, have an earthy, mushroom-y flavour and a mouth wateringly thick, ultra-smooth texture.
These types of cheeses should always be served either at room temperature or warmed through for a gooey consistency. Never serve cold or straight from the fridge.
- Sun-Blushed Tomatoes: These vibrant tomatoes offer a chewy acidity and freshness; perfect for pairing with our earthy Brie or Tunworth
- Baked Pistachios: These chewy nuts offer a lovely contrasting texture to the smooth cheese
- Walnuts and strawberries: Sweet, chewy, crunchy, juicy. A cracking combination for soft cheeses.
What to Eat with Blue Cheese
We are blue cheese fanatics, so we pretty much covered the best pairings for blue cheese in our recent article – 7 foods that pair perfectly with blue cheese. However, we have since found some unexpectedly delightful additions which we thought were worth a mention, including:
- Candied ginger: It has a strong, spicy flavour that can really hold its own against a strong, salty blue. The sweet yet spicy combination hits the nail on the head!
- Roasted pears with cardamom: Sweet and a touch spicy, a wonderfully complex and interesting combination
- Honey or Maple Syrup: Roquefort and Stilton especially as just beautiful when drizzled with just a touch of honey or maple syrup. No need to overdo it with this one!
Recipe Idea: Arrange thin crisp slices of raw apple or pear (in season!) topped with a plump olive which has been stuffed with blue cheese. Serve with sherry.
What to Eat with Semi Soft Cheese
Semi soft cheeses have a pliable texture and often have a rich, buttery flavour. However, semi-soft washed rind cheeses contain a more pungent or sharp flavour.
- Roasted Asparagus or Roasted Mushrooms: Both are earthy, rich and almost meaty. Their strong flavours go well with the more subtle flavours of semi soft cheese.
- Strong Dark Belgian Ales: These beverages have a strong flavour that can stand up to the pungency of a washed rind cheese.
- Pear Chutney: A nice, not-too-sweet pear chutney is a safe bet for most semi-soft cheeses.
What to Eat with Hard Cheeses
Cheeses like aged cheddars, Parmesan and Romano fit into this category and a little really goes a long way! They really pack a punch in the flavour department and have either a hard or crumbly texture. Lots of different flavours work with these kinds of cheeses when deciding what to eat with cheese of this kind.
- Tomato chutney (cheese and tomato are a classic pairing and adding the sweetness of a chutney into the mix makes it divine)
- Mustard – a little goes a long way! Take a slice of cheddar and pop a small amount of good quality mustard.
- Marmite! Love it or hate it, you would be hard pressed to deny that it goes very well with an aged Lancashire cheese.
- A good quality aged balsamic vinegar. I say good quality and aged because they are thick, sweet and less intense than normal balsamic vinegars.
- Griddled fennel – Pop some thin slices of fennel onto a griddle and heat on high for just a couple of minutes.
Recipe Idea: Take a handful of broccoli and chop into small florets. Place on a baking tray and roast in the oven until the ends are crispy and slightly blackened. Grate over some parmesan cheese and salt and pepper (even a pinch of chili flakes if you like it hot) to taste.
You Can’t Go Wrong When You Add These 6 items to Your Cheeseboard
- Any of the following currently in season: apples, pears, grapes, figs
- Toasted Walnuts, caramelised hazelnuts or sugared almonds
- Peanut brittle
- Thin slices of Fruit cake
- 2 types of crackers