By Emma Bowen, Assistant Deli Manager
Pairing cheese and fruit for an upscale appetizer is a great way to add a little something extra to your dinner party. When choosing your cheese and fruit pairings you should focus on complementing flavors and textures. You want the two items to uplift each other’s naturally occurring flavors. It may be intimidating choosing the right options, but this guide should make things a little easier.
There are a couple general rules to follow when choosing your fruit and cheese combination:
The first rule is that fresh cheese goes great with fresh fruit. An example of fresh cheeses would be ricotta, chevre, or any high-moisture cheese without a rind. A great combination would be something like strawberries and ricotta.
The second rule to keep in mind is that sugar pairs well with moldy cheese like Stilton. The sweetness of something like a pear compliments the tang and funk of a blue cheese.
The final rule to remember is that you don’t want to go for matching flavors or textures. As I mentioned before, it is important to focus on complementary flavors and balancing intensities. A great pairing that showcases this is grapes and red wax gouda. The pop of the grape goes great with the semi-hard texture of the gouda.
Finally, there are a few things to stay away from when picking out your pairings. You don’t want to mix high acidity or fresh flavors with bitter flavors because they tend to clash with each other. Also, dry cheeses should never go with fresh produce and don’t try to pair blue cheese with anything acidic.
Trying new combinations of cheese and fruit can be a fun and delicious journey. When putting together your next charcuterie board, keep these rules in mind, and it will be perfect at any party, or even just for a satisfying snack.