Calling all cheese connoisseurs! If there’s one foodie combination most dedicated diners can’t have enough of, it’s cheese and fruit. And one of the best ways to enjoy salty, creamy cheese is pairing with it fresh or dried juicy fruit.
Bursting with flavour, cheese and fruit pairings make for an easy mid-afternoon snack and a wonderful appetiser. But pairing cheese and fruit together isn’t always easy, so we chatted with Narelle Tognini, owner of Tognini’s Cafe Deli in Brisbane, Australia, to discover some of the tastiest cheese and fruit combinations around!
Which ones have you tried?
This one’s an all-time favourite. Brie cheese and pear is a nice combination, Narelle says, because “with soft creamy bries … you need something to cut through the richness and pear is very nice with that particular cheese.” Cut the pear into thin slices and top them with semi-thin pieces of brie for an easy yet delicious snack on some water crackers.
Nothing beats a goat-cheese pairing, but it’s especially nice when combined with cherries! Goat cheese is sharp and creamy, while cherries are sweet, which means they complement each other well. Pair with a fresh baguette, top with rosemary and enjoy.
“I quite like having dried or fresh grapes with cheddar cheese,” Narelle says. While cheddar is sometimes dismissed as boring, it’s actually the perfect base. The sweetness of grapes and saltiness of cheddar is the main reason they work well. And of course, if you prefer apple, there’s always the option of a yummy ploughman’s lunch, with crusty bread, cheddar, apple slices and some sort of pickle or chutney.
Cranberries are excellent with many types of cheeses, but a mild white curd cheese like mozzarella works best. It’s all about balance – cranberries are tart, while mozzarella is smooth and creamy.
Commonly used for pasta, parmesan (also known as parmigiano-reggiano), has a slighty gritty texture with a strong, savoury-nutty flavour, while pineapple is sweet and juicy. To get the best out of both, grate parmesan over pineapple slices for a marvellous flavour. Some fans of this combo even recommend grilling the pineapple with the parmesan on top to bring out the sweetness in the fruit even more.
Blue cheeses are strong-flavoured, so a sweet fruit like fig works best, Narelle says. To take it to the next level, add a drizzle of honey! Not a blue cheese fan? Blue cheese can be an acquired taste, so don’t give up just yet!
Citrus and cheese is a thing, and it taste amazing! Blood oranges are the best to use as they lack salt and aren’t as tangy as normal oranges.