Are you a fan of blue cheese? Do you love its tangy and savory flavor?
Whether you’re a cheese connoisseur or just starting to explore the world of cheese, you might be wondering what goes well with blue cheese.
From sweet to savory, there are countless ways to enjoy this versatile cheese. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best pairings for blue cheese, from fruits and nuts to chocolate and beer.
So sit back, grab a glass of wine or a cold beer, and let’s dive into the delicious world of blue cheese pairings.
What Goes Well With Blue Cheese?
Blue cheese is a versatile cheese that pairs well with a variety of flavors. Here are some of the best pairings for blue cheese:
1. Fruits: Blue cheese pairs beautifully with fresh or dried fruits such as figs, pears, apples, and cranberries. The sweetness of the fruit helps balance out the saltiness of the blue cheese.
2. Nuts: Walnuts, pecans, and almonds are great options to pair with blue cheese. The nuttiness of these flavors complements the tangy taste of blue cheese.
3. Chocolate: Dark chocolate is a perfect match for blue cheese. The bitterness of the chocolate brings out the earthy and nutty flavors of the cheese.
4. Wine: Blue cheese pairs well with a variety of wines, including champagne, sparkling wines, big reds, port, sherry, and dessert wines. The sweetness and acidity of these wines complement the bold flavor of blue cheese.
5. Vegetables: Blue cheese adds a savory note to vegetables such as green beans and salads. It’s a great way to add flavor to your veggies.
6. Butter: The extra fat in butter mellows out the strong flavor of blue cheese and helps spread its complexity across your tongue.
7. Beef: Blue cheese has a natural meatiness that makes it a perfect match for beef dishes such as burgers or roast beef sandwiches.
Fruit And Nut Pairings
When it comes to pairing blue cheese with fruits and nuts, there are endless options to choose from. Here are some of the best combinations:
1. Figs and Walnuts: Fresh figs and walnuts are a classic pairing for blue cheese. The sweetness of the figs and the nuttiness of the walnuts complement the sharpness of blue cheese.
2. Apples and Pecans: Sliced apples and pecans are another great option to pair with blue cheese. The sweetness of the apples and the nuttiness of the pecans create a perfect balance with the tangy flavor of blue cheese.
3. Cranberries and Almonds: Dried cranberries and almonds are a delicious pairing for blue cheese. The tartness of the cranberries and the crunchiness of the almonds add a nice texture to the creamy blue cheese.
4. Pear and Pistachio: Sliced pears and pistachios are a unique pairing for blue cheese. The sweetness of the pears and the saltiness of the pistachios create a perfect balance with the tangy flavor of blue cheese.
5. Apricots and Hazelnuts: Dried apricots and hazelnuts are another great option to pair with blue cheese. The sweetness of the apricots and the nuttiness of the hazelnuts add a nice texture to the creamy blue cheese.
Wine And Cheese Pairings
When it comes to wine and cheese pairings, blue cheese has a reputation for being a tricky cheese to match. However, there are several wine options that can complement the bold flavor of blue cheese.
One classic pairing is port and stilton, or roquefort and Sauternes. These dessert or fortified wines have a touch of sweetness that works well with the bitterness of blue cheese. However, there are other occasions where a drier white or red wine would work better. For example, a blue cheese and fresh fig salad can be paired with a smooth Italian white wine like Gavi di Gavi, which also works well with pasta or gnocchi with a blue cheese sauce.
For more pungent blue cheeses such as Roquefort or Cabrales, medium-bodied red wines like a southern Italian red or a zinfandel can handle the strong flavors. However, for mellow blue cheeses such as Bleu d’Auvergne or Barkham Blue, hearty reds such as cabernet sauvignon or malbec can be paired. Other fortified wines such as medium dry amontillado or oloroso sherry, and sweet madeira also pair well with blues.
Blue cheese can also be used in salads, making pairing with wine easier. A frisée salad topped with crumbled Roquefort can be paired with a crisp, medium-bodied white wine. A salad topped with blue cheese can also be paired with a floral Portuguese Vinho Verde or a minerally Viognier.
When it comes to blue cheese-topped steak or beef dishes, the biggest red wine you have is the way to go. Rhône wines or California Cabernet are great options to pair with blue cheese-topped steak.
In general, be wary of serving blues with dry wines like dry Rieslings, which “fall short when it comes to blues.” Sweeter Rieslings are sometimes successful matches. Pinot can also suffer when served with blue cheese, but some fruity New World ones can hold their ground.
Chocolate And Blue Cheese Pairings
When it comes to pairing blue cheese with chocolate, the possibilities are endless. The combination of the two might sound strange, but it’s a match made in heaven. French chef Michel Bras made this pairing famous when he invented his dark chocolate and blue cheese dessert, coulant. The fatty acids from the cheese cut through the bitterness of the dark chocolate while enhancing its deep vanilla undertones.
One of the simplest ways to pair blue cheese with chocolate is to go for a dark chocolate with a hint of minerality, which works well with young to medium-aged triple cream cheeses such as Mt. Tam, Delice de Bourgogne, Brillat Savarin, and Nettle Meadow Kunik. Milk chocolate complements the creaminess of the cheese as well. If you’re feeling adventurous, try pairing blue cheese with a chocolate that has a similar flavor profile. If the chocolate is more nutty, pair it with an aged, firm, nutty cheese. If it is a little savory and funky, pair it with a washed rind that will enhance those flavors.
Another no-brainer pairing is to pair all blue cheeses with dark chocolate that has notes of minerality and flint, tart, nutty notes. Stilton, St. Agur, Fourme D’Ambert, Rogue River Blue, and Bayley Hazen Blue all pair well with chocolate that has 75 to 90% cocoa content.
Finally, Lindstrom’s ginger chocolate studded with pieces of candied ginger pairs well with blue cheese. The sweetness from the chocolate helps mute the strong flavor from the cheese to create a sweeter flavor profile.
When it comes to pairing blue cheese and chocolate, don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for your taste buds. Remember that there are no standard rules when it comes to pairing – experimentation is the objective and a new discovery the reward.
Savory Pairings With Blue Cheese
If you’re looking for savory pairings with blue cheese, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of the best pairings for a more savory experience:
1. Crackers: Whole grain crackers are a great option to pair with blue cheese. They add a crunchy texture that complements the creamy texture of the cheese.
2. Olives: The salty and briny flavor of olives pairs well with blue cheese. It’s a great way to add some Mediterranean flavors to your cheese platter.
3. Bacon: The smoky and salty flavor of bacon is a perfect match for blue cheese. Try topping your burger or salad with crumbled bacon and blue cheese.
4. Mushrooms: The earthy flavor of mushrooms pairs well with blue cheese. Try sautéing mushrooms and adding them to your blue cheese dip or topping your steak with sautéed mushrooms and blue cheese.
5. Roasted Vegetables: Roasting vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, or beets brings out their natural sweetness and pairs well with the tangy flavor of blue cheese.
6. Caramelized Onions: The sweetness of caramelized onions helps balance out the saltiness of blue cheese. Try adding caramelized onions to your blue cheese dip or topping your pizza with caramelized onions and blue cheese.
7. Mustard: The tangy and spicy flavor of mustard pairs well with blue cheese. Try adding a dollop of mustard to your blue cheese dip or spreading mustard on your sandwich before adding blue cheese.
With these savory pairings, you can take your blue cheese experience to the next level and create a delicious and satisfying snack or meal.
Beer And Blue Cheese Pairings
Beer and blue cheese are a match made in heaven. The bitterness of the hops in an IPA cuts through the creaminess of blue cheese, making it a perfect pairing. If you prefer something more malty, a dark and creamy porter complements the texture and flavor of blue cheese.
When it comes to pairing beer with blue cheese, there are a few options. For hop lovers, an IPA pairs wonderfully with creamy blues. The mild pungency of blue cheese works well with the hop bitterness of an IPA. A big malty beer like a Barleywine also pairs well with blue cheese. The caramel and nutty flavors of the beer complement the richness of the cheese, while the high alcohol content cuts through the fat and cleanses your palate.
Imperial stouts are another great option for pairing with blue cheese. The residual sugar in the beer is a fine counterpoint to the saltiness of the cheese, and the fruity and roast malt flavors of the beer bring forward a chocolatey side to blue cheese that was previously hidden.
When pairing beer with blue cheese, it’s important to remember that mild cheeses go well with mild beers. Riper and richer cheeses can handle stronger beers and higher alcohol percentages. Sharp blue cheeses can handle heavy black stouts, while heavy, fruity beers go well with blue cheeses. Hoppy beers tend to take the edge off blue cheese and bring out their floral notes and acidity.
Experimentation is key when it comes to pairing beer with blue cheese. Find out what suits your personal tastes – do you like similar tastes or divergent flavors that complement each other? Both can be quite delicious.