An Expert's Tip For Pairing Cheese And Chocolate

comte cheese and hazelnut chocolate
comte cheese and hazelnut chocolate - Static Media / Shutterstock / Getty

When thinking of food pairings, you may not initially think of pairing cheese and chocolate together. But, the two indulgent ingredients have more in common than you might realize. Cheesemonger and owner of Fairfield & Greenwich Cheese Company, Laura Downey, shared with Tasting Table why you should consider trying this pairing and what to keep in mind if you do.

"Cheese and chocolate can make a delicious after-dinner treat. Think about the flavors in your chocolate. Is it nutty or fruity?" says Downey. "Then, look for a cheese with a similar flavor." With a little bit of thought, you can create some decadent pairings that are sure to impress at your next dinner party or wine night.

Downey recommends that hazelnut chocolate bars be paired with a Comté cheese, which has fruity, salty, and savory notes. The nuttiness from the hazelnut pairs well with the savory aspects of the Comté, and the sweetness from the chocolate balances the saltiness. As a general rule, you can always take the sweet-and-salty approach of pairing sweeter chocolates, like milk chocolates, with saltier cheeses, like blue cheeses. Downey also recommends considering the wine you're drinking when coming up with your pairings. "Classics never fail, and Stilton, paired with a port wine and dark chocolate, is a match made in heaven," says Downey.

Read more: 25 Chocolate Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

Other Chocolate And Cheese Pairings To Try

cheese and chocolate
cheese and chocolate - Barmalini/Getty Images

Chocolates with orange tasting notes offer a unique opportunity to bring a hint of fresh citrus flavor into your pairings. A tangy goat cheese will highlight the subtle tang of the citrus flavor but also have a creaminess to offer a unique balance. You can go for a soft goat cheese or a goat cheddar depending on the texture you want. A goat cheddar will have a sharper, salty note to contrast against the sweetness of the chocolate. This pairing hits almost all of your taste receptors and makes for a satisfying bite.

Another pairing to try is Parmigiano Reggiano with dark chocolate. It isn't as sweet as other chocolates, but that works in favor of this pairing. The bitterness of the dark chocolate rounds out the umami, meaty flavor of the parmesan and creates more depth of flavor and a more complete bite. The slightly chalky texture of the parmesan and the creamy, earthiness of the dark chocolate make for a texturally intriguing bite as well. If you like the saltiness of parmesan, you can opt for a sea salt dark chocolate to bring out even more of this flavor.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.