10 February 2023, 07:36 AM
  • Eleonore Deneuve, owner of Cheezelo, shares her favourite cheese pairing ideas with Speciality Food readers
5 cheese pairing ideas with Eleonore Deneuve, Cheezelo

What’s on your dream cheeseboard?
It’s like asking me for my favourite cheeses! First of all, I’ll have a French soft ash goat cheese such as Sainte Maure de Touraine PDO or Selles sur Cher PDO from France Loire. Alternatively for the British version of amazing goats, I’d go with the rosary St Ella & little lepe crottins.

Then, I’ll opt for a soft cow cheese such as a triple cream Vacherousse d’argental or the traditional brie de Meaux PDO, adding to that a creamy blue, the bleu d’Auvergne would be my favourite, following by the gorgonzola dolce, in the semi-soft, the amazing Cornish Yarg, then I’d travel to Spain with a mature Manchego PDO for some ewe flavours, and I’d add a flavoured truffle cheddar, the truffle trove from Snowdonia cheese company is exquisite.

Then, I’d add a Comté 18 or 24 months PDO or a Gruyere Reserve PDO minimum 15 to 20 months old to add the nutty flavours and finally for having a nice colour to the cheese board, my every time favourite old Mimolette, this orange coloured cheese from annatto, reminds me of my natal Normandie, with its saltiness and caramel flavours. Onto this cheese board, I’d add some seasonal fruits, a nice chutney as well as variety of breads and crackers.

What’s your all-time favourite cheese pairing?
Being a white wine lover, I’d go with a Sancerre and a soft goat cheese from Loire or the farmhouse cheddar Wookey cave aged. The first pairing would match the acidity of the sauvignon grapes and the goat’s milk, matching on the citrusy flavours. The cheddar would reveal the fruity aromas of the wine, minerality of soil where the grapes have grown and the earthy aromas of the cheddar whilst having a long-lasting finish on the palate.

Any unusual pairings you’d recommend?
A strong spicy blue cheese such as the Italian gorgonzola picante or the Spanish Valdeon picos blue with the French sweet chestnut spread would match perfectly on the sweet and spicy flavour. Similarly, a stout or dark beer with a soft blue such as the German Montagnolo affine or the Irish crozier blue is divine, the notes are more focused on the nuttiness and cereals. Finally, I’d recommend one of the most popular grilled cheese sandwiches I do at Cheezelo which is the smoked cheddar Dorset red with the chilli jam from Tracklement, the smokiness of the cheese goes very nicely with the sweet and spiciness of the jam.

What do you love to drink with cheese?
I would often recommend to have white wine with cheeses as my preference, as red wine tends to overtake the flavours of the cheeses unless you go with hard mature cheese, washed rind ripped soft cheeses or blue cheeses.

I also enjoy having coffee with cheeses, particularly an espresso with a semi-soft cheese like Tomme de Savoie, Morbier or a Saint Nectaire…just delicious in the morning! It brings floral notes onto my brew. Funny enough, I hate drinking coffee or tea with milk, but love to have a piece or two of cheese on the side!

What must-have cheese kit would you recommend?
My Handee cheese cutting machine is the must-have for any cheese shop, as well as a double-handed knife from Bharbjt for cutting very hard cheeses such as the Mimolette, Mahon de Menorca or Old gouda cheeses. Without those two main tools, I’d be lost!