It’s been a busy week with the Cheesemonger Invitational and Fancy Food Show hitting San Francisco! I loved meeting new and old foodie friends and attending both events as a Culture Magazine correspondent. I even took over Culture’s Insta for the first part of CMI—were you following?
I love everything about the CMI but it’s the perfect bite competition that intrigues me most. Pairing cheese with other things is one of the most creative aspects of being a cheesemonger. However, anyone can do it. All you need is a palate, cheese, some ingredients to play with, and your imagination.
How can you create your own perfect bite at home? If you want to follow the lead of our CMI competitors, there are a few ways to approach a pairing:
- Minimalist: Let the cheese really shine. The ingredients you pair with your cheese enhance it, but don’t draw too much attention to themselves.
- Evocative: Think of a favorite dish, or a meal you had on an exotic trip. Try to recreate those flavors in one cheesy bite.
- Fantaisie: Borrowing a French word here! Create a pairing that is uniquely you—surprising, unusual, but harmonious.
- Tradition: There are a few traditional pairings out there, like Manchego and quince paste, Roquefort and Sancerre, Basque cheeses and black cherry jam . . . If you’re really out of ideas, you can stick with the tried and true.
If you need more inspiration, take a peak at these perfect bites from last weekend’s Cheesemonger Invitational in SF!
**That pairing in the featured image up top is by Erin Clancy of Whole Foods: 1605 Manchego, cold-pressed olive oil, pistachio, pickled fig. Delicious!
I have more photos of CMI and pairings on my Facebook album!