Unusual cheese pairings to tempt your fine food customers

30 March 2023, 15:48 PM
  • Five cheese retailers share their naughty and nice pairings for cheese with Speciality Food readers
Unusual cheese pairings to tempt your fine food customers

Chris Hallam, Chorlton Cheesemongers
One of my real pleasures is working with local breweries for tasting events and discovering and experimenting with new combos. I did some tasting events with Seven Brothers Brewery here in Salford who have produced a stout using the discarded Coco Pops from Kellogg’s, again just down the road.

It was almost set as a challenge to see what might work. We paired it with a Blackmount, a goat’s cheese from the Errington Dairy and it was sensational. Together they became a rich, cheesy, chocolatey ‘dessert’, changing both distinct flavours into something completely new.

Eleonore Denvenue, Cheezelo
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.

Mark Kacary, The Norfolk Deli
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 and Seggiano Chestnut Honey with a seasonal IPA from Duration Brewery. A twist on a traditional Ploughman’s.

Vaik Lucas, The Cheeseworks
I had a chance encounter with a liqueur maker (Liqueurious) a few months back. He came into the shop looking for help to pair his liqueurs with cheese. The collaboration was a revelation for us both. He makes a variety of tea and coffee liqueurs. 

The pairing of Munster cheese and Ryokucha green tea liqueur was mind-blowing. The kick from the liqueur is partially absorbed by the richness and sweetness of the Munster and allows the cheese to develop some fantastic fresh, grassy undertones that are not normally part of its profile. 

Toby Edwards, Friday Street Farm Shop
I am not sure if this would be an unusual pairing elsewhere in the country but I still get funny looks at work when I make this pairing. My unusual pairing and a lunchtime favourite of mine is a slice of Montagnolo with a slice of Ogleshield or Black Bomber (depending on what I fancy) on top of a sourdough baguette split in half and then toasted. A pairing made in heaven. Well, in my eyes, maybe not my work colleagues!

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