Chocolate and cheese pairings - sounds a little strange but very intriguing, doesn’t it? I was always curious about doing this pairing. After I attended the 2018 Seattle NorthWest Chocolate Festival curiosity turned into action.
I enlisted the help of Kyle Weaver. Kyle’s background includes a 5 year stint at Grace in the Kitchen doing all things cheese. A perfect partner.
The interesting thing about cheese, besides flavour of course, is texture. This plays a big role in determining pairings and opens the door to so many possibilities.
When pairing it is recommended that you taste the chocolate on its own, then the cheese and then enjoy the two together. Identify the flavours you taste in the chocolate and the cheese as well as the textures of each, before combining them.
Try these pairings at home as part of a charcuterie or for dessert!
Zacharie Cloutier cheese from Quebec - a raw sheep’s milk cheese ripened 4 to 6 months. Sweet aromas of butter and caramel, it’s a wonderful pairing with AKESSON’S 43% White Madagascar bar. This special white bar is made with 43% cocoa butter from the citrusy Madagascar cocoa, milk and then sugar. Decadent combination.
Chateau de Bourgogne cheese from France - cow’s milk triple cream makes this soft cheese creamy, buttery and perfect to spread on a piece of chocolate! We love this mild cheese paired with AMEDEI’s Toscano Brown Latte bar. The chocolate is an exclusive blend of milk chocolate - creamy with a hint of vanilla-like flavour. A rich pairing that brings out some hidden flavour notes in the chocolate.
Chateau Tickler Cheddar from the UK - a semi-hard cheese on the sweet side. Flavour notes of caramel and citrus and a very interesting crumbly texture. We pair this cheese with coco chocolate’s award winning 70% Dark with Achill Island Sea Salt. The Peruvian cacao in this bar has a tangy, fruity flavour that combined with the salt creates a sweet and salty mix. But it’s the texture that seals the deal on this pairing. The soft, flaky salt intermingles with the crumbling cheese and intensifies the flavour of the cheese AND the chocolate. Fantastic
Beemster Cheese from Holland - a hard cheese made from Dutch cow’s milk. It has a smooth, creamy texture followed by a sharp salty flavour. Little grains of salt have been added to intensify the natural salty flavour that comes from its extensive aging process. We like Marou’s DAK LAK 70% Dark bar with this cheese. This Vietnamese bar is a smooth easy melting bar, releasing it’s spicy, smoky flavours immediately that continue to build right to the end. Chewed together this pairing is a symphony of flavours. Dynamite pairing!
Bitto Cheese from Italy - a semi-hard cheese produced with whole cow’s milk in Lombardy and a small amount of goat milk. The cheese is only produced in the summer when the cows feed on the alpine meadow, giving it its distinctly sweet flavour. This cheese can be aged up to 10 years but we pair a much younger softer variety. We love this cheese with Hummingbird’s Zorzal 70% Dark bar! The cocoa is from a bird sanctuary in the Dominican Republic dedicated to preserving the Zorzal, a rare songbird native to Ontario, Quebec and
the Maritimes. The flavour notes are sweet with hints of apricot and pecan and the bar is smooth and easy melting. This pairing is bright and fresh, highlighting fruit and honey notes when enjoyed together.