In cheese and chocolate pairings, there are no rules, only deliciousness.
I admit, I used to be kinda on the fence about cheese and chocolate pairings. Like, cheese is awesome, chocolate is awesome, but why put them together? Wouldn’t that just delay me from eating the cheese and the chocolate? And then I learned more about it and realized just how many more flavors you could get out of the two together. And I’m here to bring the cheese and chocolate wisdom to you!
A note first: online you’ll see a lot of recommended pairings. The thing is, after talking to Lauren at Chocolopolis and Janee’ the Mobile Monger, one thing stood out: there are No True Pairings. Each batch of cheese is different, so is each batch of chocolate. Heck, your palate is different each time depending on how you’re feeling and what you ate that day. So embrace that change! See how your cheese or chocolate is that day, and pair with what sounds fun. (And then take notes so you can try the pairing again later, for science.)
All that being said, there are some good ground rules I like to follow, and they’ll definitely help in your pairing adventures:
Pair your cheese and chocolate with warm water.
Warm water is my drink of choice for palate cleansing with chocolate and cheese, and lets you focus on the pairing itself, not whatever you’re drinking. (I’m sure there are folks who do wine and cheese and chocolate pairings, but even if I did that I’d have warm water on hand to break things up or all you’ll end up tasting is the strongest flavored cheese or chocolate.)
Go from highest to lowest percentage chocolate – and youngest to oldest cheese.
Same with how you plan your pairings – in general, you’re pairing darker chocolates with softer cheeses, milkier/sweeter chocolates with older/aged cheeses. Pairing a 90% chocolate with a brie? Fun! Pairing that same 90% with an aged parm? It could work, but it’s going to be a battle of intensity for sure. (Though now I totally want to try that.)
It’s way more fun with friends!
I’ve done solo pairings, and while they’re great, that’s a snack more than a tasting. Try this on a date, or even with a group of friends! Ideally with a group of friends with more cheese and chocolate. Cheese and chocolate pairing potluck, anyone?
And if you want more inspiration, check out the video below!
Honestly, I’m still amazed at how well chocolate with candied guava works with cheese. And while it may sound super clickbaity, it’s not in the way you might think. Watch to find out!