The Art of Cheese and Fruit Pairing: Exploring the Perfect Combinations for Summer

by Maison Morand

Pairing cheese with fruit is a timeless culinary tradition, bringing out the best in both components. The juicy sweetness of fresh fruit complements the creamy sharpness of cheese, creating an excitable blend of flavours. With summer in full swing, it's the perfect time to explore seasonal cheese and fruit pairings. 

This blog will guide you in crafting delightful cheese platters that feature the season's best produce. Whether you're hosting a gathering or simply enjoying a casual meal, understanding the fundamentals of pairing kickstarts summer colours and the exotic cheeseboard experience. 

Understanding the Basics of Cheese and Fruit Pairings

Your summer cheese and fruit pairing escapades have a few simple guidelines before you enjoy the seasonal delights. Start by choosing your cheeses, aiming for a variety of textures, appearances, and flavours—from mild to sharp. Match companion and complementary flavours to create harmonies, such as pairing nutty cheeses with nutty fruits or jams. Contrasting flavours also work well, like combining salty and sweet elements. Introducing a third element, such as a fig spread or honey, can bridge flavours beautifully. 

Regional pairings often work seamlessly, as items from the same area tend to complement each other. Finally, create an intensity journey, starting with milder cheeses and progressing to stronger ones. Balancing different textures and flavours enhances both the cheese and the fruit, creating a delightful culinary experience.

Summer Cheese and Fruit Pairing Combinations

Indulge in the art of cheese and fruit pairing with these delightful combinations that celebrate the flavours of summer. From creamy burrata adorned with blueberries to tangy gorgonzola paired with sweet plums, explore the vibrant world of cheese and fruit pairings.

Fresh, Soft and Semi-Soft Cheeses

  • Burrata with Blueberries, Blackberries, or Fresh Apricots: The creamy richness of burrata pairs perfectly with the sweet juiciness of blueberries, blackberries, or fresh apricots, creating a delightful contrast of flavours and textures.
  • Feta or Halloumi with Fresh Figs or Watermelon: The savoury allure of feta or halloumi finds delightful harmony with the luscious sweetness of fresh figs or the invigorating juiciness of watermelon, resulting in a palate-refreshing and flavorful ensemble.
  • Brie or Camembert with Grapes or Summer Pears: The creamy, earthy flavours of brie or camembert are enhanced by the sweetness of grapes or the subtle sweetness and crisp texture of summer pears, creating a harmonious balance of flavours.
  • Tomme de Chèvre with Fresh Apricots or Raspberries: The tangy, slightly sharp flavour of goat cheese pairs wonderfully with the sweet juiciness of fresh apricots or the tartness of raspberries, creating a vibrant and refreshing combination.

Semi-Hard, Hard and Crumbly Cheeses

  • Gouda with Red Grapes or Pineapple: The nutty sweetness of gouda is complemented by the juicy sweetness of red grapes or the tropical tanginess of pineapple, creating a satisfyingly balanced flavour profile.
  • Farmhouse Cheddar, Emmental de Savoie, or Gruyère with Summer Apples or Dry Mango: The sharp, savoury flavours of farmhouse cheddar, Emmental de Savoie, or gruyère are beautifully offset by the crisp sweetness of summer apples or dry mango, creating a satisfying and flavourful pairing.
  • Parmigiano with Fresh Figs or Grapes: The nutty, slightly salty flavour of Parmigiano is enhanced by the natural sweetness of fresh figs or the juicy sweetness of grapes, creating a rich and indulgent pairing.
  • Manchego Cheese with Figs or Strawberries: The nutty, slightly tangy flavour of manchego cheese pairs wonderfully with the sweet juiciness of figs or the vibrant sweetness of strawberries, creating a delightful contrast of flavours and textures.

Blue Cheeses

  • Gorgonzola or Blue Stilton with Fresh Figs or Sweet Plums: The bold, tangy flavours of gorgonzola or blue stilton are beautifully complemented by the sweet juiciness of fresh figs or plums, creating a luxurious and indulgent pairing.

What To Avoid When Creating Your Own Cheese and Fruit Pairings

Discovering the perfect balance between cheese and fruit pairings can elevate any culinary experience. However, avoiding certain pitfalls ensures that your combinations harmonise rather than clash on the palate.

  • Steer Clear of High-Acid Fruits

  • While apples, pears, grapes, and dry apricot beautifully complement cheese, citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, and pineapple can clash with the flavours of cheese. These high-acid fruits have the potential to overpower the delicate taste of cheese and may even induce an unpleasant curdling effect.

  • Beware of Bitter and Fresh Flavour Combinations

  • When pairing cheese with a bloomy rind, washed rind, or wrinkly rind varieties, avoid mixing them with fruits that have bitter or fresh flavours. Such combinations can disrupt the synergy of tastes and textures, leading to an unbalanced pairing.

  • Pay Attention to Taste and Texture Matching

  • When pairing semi-hard cheeses, consider the interplay of tastes and textures. Avoid combinations that result in conflicting sensations, such as pairing crunchy fruits with crumbly cheeses. Aim for complementary flavours and textures to create a harmonious and satisfying cheese and fruit pairing experience.

    Cheese boards find a beloved companion in various summer fruits available in shop this season. As a paired duo, both cheese and fruit complement the natural, wholesome, earthy goodness that suits the springy summer vibe with friends & family. Mix and match your cheese boards with varied fruits and embark on a culinary thread that is as promising as it is delicious. Try yours today!