Are you looking for a light, sweet accompaniment to your cheeseboard? Pears are a great option. Their sweet, fruity flavour and acidity can help to bring out the best of the flavours in several different cheese varieties and help bring a cheese board together. In this article, we look at what cheese pairs with pears.
What Cheese Pairs with Pears?
The number one cheese choice for pears is Camembert. This is a well-known French cheese, semi-soft and savoury in flavour. The earthy, mushroom and pungent flavour helps to balance out the sweetness and the acidity.
Top 6 Cheeses to pair with Pears are:
- Fresh Goats Chevre
- Double cream cheese
- Aged Cheddar
Why is Camembert Such a Good Pairing?
Camembert is the ultimate pairing with pears as they have contrasting flavours. Camembert has a savoury complexion, compared to the sweeter style of the pear. This Normandy cheese is a favourite for everyone and is buttery and creamy. Acidity in the pears helps to cut through the rich butter-like texture of the cheese. Typically also the most common pairing for a pear cider, it is no wonder it is the first choice cheese to match with pears.
What is a Light Pairing?
Another pairing that will provide contrasting flavours is Goats Chevre. Although both with light tangy acidity, the sweetness of the pear will help to balance out the citrus and fresh flavour of the goat’s milk.
This pairing is the ideal palette cleanser, either a great way to start light into a cheese board or midway through to freshen between flavours.
If cheese boards are not quite your thing, try baked pears and Goats Chevre. The baked pears will caramelise and be super-rich and heavy. Add the Goat’s Chevre for a light, refreshing addition to your dish. Check out the recipe here.
What is Another Cheese that Pairs with Pears?
To stick with a more classic style cheese, choose an aged cheddar. The best-aged cheddars are from the UK, made with rich, grassy cows milk and have a buttery, salty flavour.
Considering what we have already learnt, the best pairings here often have contrasting flavours. Similar to the Camembert, the acidity will cut through the buttery creaminess of the cheddar.
The protein crystallisations (salt-like crystals that form during the cheese maturation process after using high-quality milk) will add a little more texture, crunch and add a burst of flavour for your tastebuds.
Pears are in reality a very light, delicate fruit. A heavy, rich cheese such as cheddar may overpower this delicacy. Ensure your cheddar is cut or sliced into smaller slices (use a cheese plane if necessary) to ensure that all flavours can be tasted and enjoyed.
What if I Like Strong Cheese?
Now to our more controversial (or shall we say less popular) pairings. Blue cheese. Specifically Gorgonzola. This is a very strong blue cheese native to Italy. Gorgonzola Piccante has a crumbly texture, however very bitey and salty in flavour, therefore it will be the one to cut through the sweet flavour of the pear. If you choose to match with Gorgonzola Dolce, the mild sweetness of this cheese will enhance that in the cheese and the pear.
I highly encourage you to try this pairing, even if it pushes the boat a little out of your comfort zone. Although contradicting the idea of contrasting flavours we have seen with our previous pairings, a well-known rule in the world of cheese pairings is:
What grows together goes together.
Some pear varieties are grown in Italy, and either Gorgonzola type is made in Italy, therefore following this rule. This pairing will also act as that palette cleanser, will refresh and set you up for the remainder of your cheeseboard.
Easy Eating Cheese Types:
The next pairing is aimed to be the crowd-pleaser. Double cream cheese. Now, these are very different to the classic brie. (More about this here).
Double cream cheese such as Dauphin are very rich and have a light creamy sweetness to them. Le Dauphin (or more typically known in supermarkets as Petit d’Affinois) is a great way to have a dessert-style cheese as well as that little bit of indulgence. This white mould French cheese will be beautifully sweet, silky and melt in the mouth heaven when combined with the pair acidity.
Last, but by no means least, the last pairing is Manchego. Manchego is a traditional Spanish cheese. Following our rule of ‘What grows together goes together’ that we learnt earlier in this post, many pear varieties grow in Spain, making Manchego a go-to pairing.
Manchego is made with ewe milk and therefore has a slight sweetness to it, caramel-like flavour. This is very similar flavours to the pear and will be a lovely sweetness, dessert-style flavour to wrap up your cheeseboard.
How to Eat Your Pear and Cheese Cheeseboard:
All the cheeses mentioned above will be an ideal combination to create that perfect cheeseboard, with pear acting as the starring accompaniment on your board.
It is recommended to start with light cheese, such as your Goats Chevre. Moving round to your Camembert, then onto your Aged Cheddar. Keeping your savoury flavoured cheese for the earlier part of your board.
Next, enjoy your Gorgonzola choice midway through. This will act as a beautiful refreshing palate cleanser before moving on to the last part of your board.
Eat your double cream cheese and Manchego last of all, rounding off the board with these amazing dessert-style cheeses, all enjoyed with fresh, ripe and sweet pears.