While many of you may have been snacking on a box of chocolate this past weekend, I was at home with what I like to call a ‘deluxe’ cheese tray and couldn’t have been happier. While I enjoy the traditional cheddar, summer sausage and cracker sandwich, I also like to take things up a notch with more unique flavors including blue and Gorgonzola cheeses. Yes, the ‘stinky’ cheeses are some of my favorite cheeses.
First let’s learn a little more about these blue-veined cheeses. Blue cheese tends to be sharp, salty and intense. Blue cheeses are aged for a minimum of 60 days for a bold flavor experience. Gorgonzola is a bit milder than blue cheese. It is aged for a minimum of 90 days to bring a softer, creamier texture and earthier flavors.
So now let’s talk about what pairs best with both of these varieties:
Blue Cheese goes well with red or sparkling wine. It also pairs well with dried fruits such as apricots or raisins, fresh figs and pears. I like to pair blue cheeses with whole grain crackers and almonds as well. If you’re looking to pair it with meat, it goes best with beef, preferably steak.
Since Gorgonzola is a bit earthier, I like to pair it with more mild flavors. It still goes well with red or sparkling wines but as for dried fruit I would go with a dried cranberry or fresh green apples. I also like to pair Gorgonzola with a crusty bread and walnuts.
Regardless of the pairings that you’re going to put together I would highly recommend a nice spread of both sweet and salty items to create the ultimate pairing experience. Simply Artisan Reserve offers a Blue Cheese Center Cut that is rich in flavor and perfect for a savory cheese pairing display. Also offered is aGorgonzola Center Cut that has been aged for 100 days. Both of these cheeses are the perfect centerpiece for your cheese display to serve at your next gathering. Just keep in mind my pairings suggestions from above and you too can create the ultimate cheese pairing platter!