6 knockout extras for your cheeseboard

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A cheeseboard is like a blank canvas, waiting to be transformed, with a selection of whatever delicious things strike your fancy. You can never go wrong by adding fruit, olives, crackers, and nuts to a cheeseboard. They are classic choices to complement a variety of cheeses, but we suggest pushing the boundaries to surprise and delight your guests. Instead of just sticking with the tried and true, we’re interested in breaking whatever perceived rules there might be when it comes to pairing to find some delicious new combinations. Recently we looked at condiments to go with cheese, today we share the flavored chips and nuts, chocolate, candy and even seafood are that some of our latest favorite finds.

The key to creating successful boards really is determining which flavors and textures are pleasing together. Consider a wide range of salty, sweet, creamy, and crumbly cheeses to find some tempting pairings. Don’t shy away from flavored cheeses or snacks. They can complement or contrast with your cheese selections.

PICKLED ONIONS

Small Town Cultures Sliced Red Onions are raw fermented onions that add crunch and a mild tang but not a sharp bite. They accentuate the brightness in a bold, or tangy cheese. They are great on a salad or a sandwich, but go ahead and add them to a board alongside Feta, fresh goat cheese, or queso fresco.

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Related: You’ll love these oddball pairings with your cheese

FLAVORED VEGETABLE CHIPS

Confetti makes a range of tasty crunchy dehydrated vegetable snacks, both chips and mushrooms. The mushrooms are available in black truffle and green curry. Cheeses like Marin French Triple Crème Brie and Camembert which have a mushroom flavor are particularly good with these snacks. The flavors of the vegetable chips—teriyaki bbq, sea salt and even tandoori curry are mild enough to not clash with strong flavored cheeses. They also add a welcome pop of color to cheeseboards. Try them with mildly sweet cheese like Prairie Breeze or the sweet salty Beehive Seahive with salt and honey.

TURRÓN

Turron is a nougat typically made of honey, sugar, and egg white, with toasted almonds or other nuts. Forever Cheese offers a softer and a harder version of Spanish turrón. While sweet, Forever Cheese founder Michele Buster told me she doesn’t consider it candy. Turrón Blando Mitica is soft, sweet and nutty and pairs beautifully with Carr Valley Glacier Point Blue. Turrón Duro Mitica is a beguiling crunchy nougat, that works well with an aged Manchego.

TINNED SEAFOOD

Many people believe that cheese and seafood don’t go together. They are wrong. As anyone who has ever enjoyed a tuna melt knows, seafood and cheese do sometimes go swimmingly well together. We love tinned seafood and suggest you use it in place of charcuterie on a board for pescatarians. Spanish brand Siesta tinned seafood offers mussels, tuna, mackerel, squid, and sardines. The funky flavor of these preserves is surprisingly good with strong flavored alpine cheeses like Gruyere. Open a can of the sardines and see how versatile they are with cheeses such as umami rich Parmigiano Reggiano and lactic queso fresco, then try the squid with PDO Feta.

Related: Yes, vodka really does pair well with cheese. Here’s why

SWEET GRAHAM CRACKERS

A’Cappella brand recently launched a line of pretzel shaped graham cracker snacks in flavors like cookies and cream, dark chocolate, and peanut butter. These crunchy cookies are just right to pair with sweet cheeses like Laura Chenel’s Cranberry Goat Cheese which has just a hint of cinnamon. The pairing brings out the tanginess of the chevre. Try a variety of them on a cheeseboard with a dessert theme. They are also good with rich gooey cheeses and opposite an intense blue cheese.

FLAVORED NUTS

Santé makes a range of flavored almonds, pecans, and walnuts. All of the flavors we’ve tried have been irresistible. The cocoa almonds make a striking addition to a cheeseboard. The bourbon pecans are particularly good with aged gouda, which has similar nutty, toasty and caramel notes. The candied flavors have a hint of salt which helps them pair well with cheese.

This article originally appeared on CheeseProfessor.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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Cheese & wine pairings that will elevate your Girl Scout cookies. Yes, Girl Scout cookies…

 

Last week, my daughter Karina and I were playing around in the kitchen since we have extra time during Covid stay-at-home orders. We received an order of Girl Scout Cookies and decided to pair them with cheeses, and since we are Sonoma Valley, which is also wine country, we then decided to pair them with wines.

On the same day, we happened to be tasting wines from La Prenda Vineyards for our virtual upcoming cheese and wine classes, so it was quite convenient to have 12 bottles of wine open. We tasted all the wines with the cookies and narrowed our pairings down.

Pairing Girl Scout Cookies with the cheeses had not really occurred to me until now. By incorporating the wines, we could really find a nice balance of the sweet cookies, the flavor of the cheese and finish with a glass of wine. It was a really fun project, and we have a few more like this up our sleeves, so stay tuned.

Support your local Girl Scouts, your local cheesemakers and winemakers. Here are our tasting notes. Enjoy!

 

CheeseProfessor.com

 

The Do-si-dos, with the richness of Valley Ford Estero Gold combined with the buttery Chardonnay, was a perfect dessert.

 

 

CheeseProfessor.com

 

This was like eating brunch. Bubbles and Thin Mints with a spread of Delice de la Vallee on top was a meant to be pairing.

 

 

CheeseProfessor.com

 

The Toffee-tastic cookies really brought out the caramel flavor in the Toma along with the nice light style of Happy Wife Red will be perfect for an afternoon tasting, as the 3 were really meant to be a pairing. The wine has aromas of mixed berry pie and warm vanilla spice and has just enough oak and soft tannins to make it a substantial red.

 

 

CheeseProfessor.com

 

The Samoa was ready to pair with a Pinot Noir and be finished off with a piece of the earthy and delicious cheddar. This would make a great cheese board and paired with Carneros pinot noir with its medium body, dry and smooth, with plenty of acidity. It won Double Gold in 2020 at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair.

 

 

CheeseProfessor.com

 

The wine was the lead on this pairing, as it brought out the flavor of the cookies, and the Nicasio Reserve balanced out the sweet and savory flavors. This was a beauty. Nicasio Reserve is a classic Swiss-Italian mountain cheese with a rich flavor, refined and luxurious, aged at least five months.

 

 

CheeseProfessor.com

 

The shortbread style cookies, Trefoils, were perfect with dried fruits and a Rose; the flavors all balanced together.

 

GirlScouts.org

 

S’mores go with anything, especially a Petit Blue and a Pickberry, a rich and full-bodied wine. The Petite Blue is best described as a cross between a brie and a blue cheese, a mold-ripened triple crème cheese. Pickberry is the name of a vineyard near Glen Ellen in Sonoma, and the wine is typically a blend of reds like merlot, cabernet sauvingon, cabernet franc and petite verdot

 

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This article
originally appeared on 
CheeseProfessor.comand was
syndicated by
MediaFeed.org.

 

CheeseProfessor.com

 

 

Betty Crocker

 

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