27 December 2022, 07:42 AM
  • Seven cheese retailers share their naughty and nice pairings for cheese with Speciality Food readers

Unusual cheese pairings to trial in your independent store

Need some interesting ideas for what to pair with cheese in the new year? We’ve compiled the most unusual ways to eat cheese, according to our cheese experts. 

Rory Mellis, I.J. Mellis
Tunworth – an English take on a Camembert, made by Stacey Hedges – and chilli oil. We like to use Halfway Chilli Oil, a mild, Sichuan-inspired chilli oil made by the team at Halfway Kitchen. The warmth from the oil adds a satisfying kick to the delicate and nutty cheese.

Michael Thomson, Mike’s Fancy Cheese
I visited Pick n Cheese at Seven Dials Market this year and loved their sushi-style belt with all the mad pairings. Kimchi and Krauts go so well with cheese and we have spent this year convincing our customers to try it!

Jessica Honey, Curd & Cure
One thing I like to do before preparing a cheese board is to freeze red grapes. When frozen, they turn into mini sorbets, which pair beautifully with cheese as well as providing the perfect palate cleanser.

Daniel Williams, Godfrey C. Williams & Sons
Creamy Blue cheese with milk chocolate-covered pretzels! The sweet/salty combo of the pretzel matches the creaminess of the blue. A great pairing with most creamy and full-flavoured blues, but outstanding with Tuxford & Tebbutt 1760 Blue.

Gemma Ackroyd, The Cheeseboard of Harrogate
Although not that unusual to the North, I’m originally from London so when someone recommended fruit cake with Wensleydale cheese, I wondered what on earth they were thinking! Now I must be a true Yorkshire woman as I completely agree and think it’s a delicious combination.

Fraser MacLellan, Froth & Rind
We get amazing doughnuts to the shop every weekend and recently we asked the baker to make some with a Gorgonzola and berry jam filling. They were so delicious. The slight tart of the berry jam, with the rich blue cheese and sugar from the doughnut all blended really beautifully. 

We’ve also made blue cheese and port ice cream and that was a winner too. I like trying to combine the dessert and cheese courses and see what happens. Goats’ cheese brownies made with Valencay are also well worth a taste.

Stephen Fleming, George & Joseph
We once did a pairing event with a local coffee shop, and we loved pairing Reypenaer VSOP Gouda with espresso. The caramel notes of the cheese really sat well with the coffee.

I also love Single Variety Fireflame Chilli Jam with Baron Bigod – the sweetness of the jam counterbalances so well with the bitter notes of the cheese, and there’s just enough heat to not overwhelm everything.