By Juliana Uruburu, Market Hall Foods’s retail director and member of the Guilde des Fromagers

 

At Market Hall, cheese and chocolate are two of our favorite food groups. Both are comforting, craveable and delicious, so each Valentine’s Day, we bring the two together in new and irresistible ways.

Here are some basic principles to use when pairing cheese and chocolate:

  1. Milk chocolate likes buttery, milky cheeses, like brie.
  2. Go with complementary flavors you like to pair with any foods, like nutty with fruity or sweet with salty.
  3. Match intensities. Partner bold cheese with bold chocolate or mild with mild.

 

 

THREE FAVORITE PAIRINGS

Triple crème cheeses with chocolate truffles

Brillat Savarin with Guyaux French Chocolate Truffles

Luxurious triple crèmes are the perfect date-night cheese as they melt in your mouth with their buttery, salty decadence. Paired on the palate with a silky chocolate truffle, the combination melts into a luscious chocolate cream. The sweetness from the chocolate and the saltiness from the cheese elevate the nuances found in both.

Aged Gouda with spiced chocolate

Beemster XO 2–3 year aged Gouda with Ritual Gingerbread Spiced Chocolate

What we all love about a big, bold, extra-aged Gouda is that it hits all the flavor profiles: salty, sweet, nutty, and sharp. A perfect chocolate pairing for this cheese is something equally as bold in intensity. Try it with chocolate that has added spice or has been flavored with concentrated dried fruit or roasted nuts. We’ve paired the Gouda with a Ritual 70% Gingerbread Spiced chocolate bar. The warming spice flavors and aromas round out the nutty sweetness of the aged Gouda, bringing out the best in both.

Blue Cheese with Dark Chocolate

Point Reyes Farmstead Bay Blue with Mitica Chocohigos Hand-Dipped Dark Chocolate Figs

This is a delicious pairing that also takes texture into consideration. Bay Blue has fruity and nutty aromas and flavors delivered in a fudgy texture. The crunchy seeds of the figs marry with the cheese’s pronounced blue veins. The dark chocolate and caramel qualities from the baked figs soften the intensity of the blue mold, resulting in a crème brûlée effect.

We hope these inspire you to create your own delicious, or even daring, pairings. Start with your favorite cheese and ask yourself what you love about it. The texture? The complexity? The intensity? Then apply the same characteristics to the chocolate you choose and share with the person you’ve chosen to pair up with—the cheese to your chocolate!

Photos courtesy of Market Hall Foods