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Dual indulgence: Cheese and sweets - together at last!
September 2010

Pining for sweets and yearning for fromage? Satisfy both cravings with these simple sweets and cheese pairing tips! Cheeses and sweets are complex, deeply flavored foods that reward discerning gourmet enthusiasts with very unique flavors when paired. Together, cheeses and sweets can provide delicate and extremely flavorful taste sensations. Most cheeses have salty flavors that make them a delicious contrast to sweets.

Of course, the richness of sweets and cheese means pairing the two is a bit of a challenge – but one that’s worth the effort. Finding the right combinations produces truly délicieux - and indulgent – flavors and textures.

Keep it simple when enjoying your cheese with sweets. A small amount of each is enough to savor the unique flavors without overwhelming the palate. Relish each bite and try to have about equal part of each in every mouthful.
If trying a few different combinations, have some bread, crackers and water on hand to prepare the palate for each new indulgence.

Here are some simple pairing suggestions to get started:

Chocolate – Cheese and chocolate are two of the most craved foods in the world, so putting them together is natural. Like cheese, chocolate comes in a wide variety of textures, styles, flavors and colors.

Dark chocolate is among the mildest chocolates but it still maintains a deeply sweet flavor. Pairing dark chocolate with cheese is a perfect way to begin enjoying chocolate with cheese, since there are so many combinations that work well together. Dark chocolate goes well with a range of cheese flavors - from the smooth, nutty taste of Ile de France brie to the rich taste of bleu cheeses such as St. Agur and Cantorel Roquefort.

White chocolate is creamy and smooth, with a sweet, deep flavor. Enjoying white chocolate with Ile de France goat cheese provides a delectable contrast because the fresh tang of the goat cheese will merge with the long-lasting sweetness of the chocolate to unlock all the flavors of each.

Milk chocolate – Most chocolate is made with milk, giving it an obvious relationship with cheese. Since commercial chocolate is made with cow’s milk, eating it with a lovely sheep’s milk cheese like Etorki makes for a memorable pairing filled with flavor subtleties. Etorki’s hints of hazlenut and caramel make delicious complements to smooth milk chocolate.
St. André cheeses goes so well with all types of chocolate that the cheese can be enjoyed as a dessert simple with a chocolate topping. Our chocolate-glazed St. André recipe offers a great way to enjoy the combination.

Caramel – Like chocolate, caramel is a deep flavored, intensely sweet delight. Caramels offer a mellow, long lasting flavor that is divin with a full flavored fromage. For a smooth combination try caramel with Ile de France brie. For something more exotic, pair it with raclette or even a bleu like St. Agur.

Lemon Pie – Desserts – especially pies - featuring fruités can all be enjoyed with cheese. Lemon pie has a zesty flavor that makes it an excellent pair for the frais flavor of Ile de France goat cheese. Blueberries, cherries and raspberries are all commonly used in desserts – and all pair well with cheeses, especially creamy cheeses like Ile de France brie and camembert.

Ice Cream - The beauty of serving ice cream with cheese is that it’s a choice that will surprise guests. Vanilla ice cream and cheese can be enjoyed together very easily, since the mellow ice cream will set up the rich flavors of cheese like Fol Epi and Ile de France goat cheese.