5 cheese pairing ideas with Mark Kacary, Norfolk Deli

27 February 2023, 16:53 PM
  • Mark Kacary, managing director at Norfolk Deli, shares what's on his dream cheeseboard with Speciality Food readers
5 cheese pairing ideas with Mark Kacary, Norfolk Deli

What’s on your dream cheeseboard?
My dream cheeseboard stares at me whenever I look at my wall of cheese because as my wife would say “we only stock cheese we like”. So that’s typically a cheeseboard which comprises of between 70 – 100 cheeses (depending on the time of year). However, being located in the northern tip of Norfolk there are times when only a Norfolk cheeseboard reflects the flavour of the county. We are blessed with a number of wonderful (but often not that well-known cheeses) so being where we are our dream cheeseboard almost naturally features Norfolk/East Anglian cheeses.

The cheeseboard would comprise of the following:
Binham Blue – made by Mrs Temples
Wissington – a Ewe’s milk cheese which is reminiscent of a pecorino fresco
Norfolk Dapple – which is a well-flavoured cheese possibly the closest in style to a cheddar although very much its own cheese
Baron Bigod – doesn’t really need any introductions but we’re delighted to say we’ve been stocking and selling this cheese since 2016
St Helena – by Julie Cheyne, a rind-washed cheese which is creamy and delightful

What’s your all-time favourite cheese pairing?
Personally, I always feel that a cheese should in the first instance be eaten on its own to understand the cheese and its flavours. Love the cheese for the taste it has and not necessarily because it’s combined with something sweet or savoury. This way you can start to experiment and find your own combination.

For me, it’s a case of keep it plain and simple. Crackers will typically be the sourdough crispness of a Peter’s Yard cracker. Having said that I can’t resist the Lingue from Seggiano. Give me a large slice of Baron Bigod, a whole lingue and some Eastgate Larder medlar jelly and I am happy happy happy.

Any unusual pairings you’d recommend?
One of the things we do for our cheese-tasting evenings is to experiment with different cheese pairings. One which worked very well was Binham Blue a Seggiano Chestnut Honey and a seasonal IPA from Duration Brewery. A twist on a traditional ploughman’s.

What do you love to drink with cheese?
It all depends on the cheese and the mood. However, a glass of water helps to keep the palate clean so that each mouthful of cheese can be enjoyed for its flavours. I am also a big fan of either a Blackshuck Damson Port or Archangel Distillery Cardinalis which is a fortified sloe wine. They are Norfolk’s answer to a glass of port and if you’re indulging in a rich deep flavoured cheese who wouldn’t like a glass of port to go with it?

What must-have cheese kit would you recommend?
A wire cutter needn’t be expensive or take up too much space, but it is the way to cleanly cut cheese. Either that or a set of cheese knives which are designed to cleanly cut through hard and soft cheeses.

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