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Wisconsin Cheese & Chocolate Pairing Tips

February 6th, 2013

by Sara Hill, culinary manager of cheese education for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

If you’re looking for a new partner to pair alongside your favorite Wisconsin Cheese, try another popular culinary treasure: chocolate.

Cheese and chocolate. One traditionally savory. The other traditionally sweet. Alone, they count among our favorite indulgences. But together, they transform into something simply sensational.

As you experiment with pairing various types of cheeses and chocolates, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  1. Portion your pairings. Chocolate can sometimes overpower other flavors. To compensate, serve about twice as much cheese as chocolate so you can fully appreciate the flavor profiles of both foods.
  2. Add some texture. Cheese is typically soft or crumbly, so look for chocolates that add a contrasting texture. Chocolate-covered toffee, caramels or espresso beans give a nice crunch to a pairing. Or, consider additional flavors, like fruits or roasted nuts.
  3. Start with savory, followed by sweet. When tasting, try the cheese first, followed by the chocolate. The sweetness of chocolate can sometimes overwhelm the palate, which is why it should follow the savory flavors found in most cheeses.
  4. Taste is really just a matter of taste. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to pairing cheese and chocolate. Simply sample some of your favorites; and chances are, it won’t take long for you to discover the perfect pair – one like dark chocolate and piquant blue cheese!

For 11 delectable Wisconsin Cheese and chocolate pairing combinations, download the free Wisconsin Cheese & Chocolate Pairing Guide.

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