Being from Russia, as a child I always remember having a big 3-litre jar of honey in the house. My grand-dad kept bees and it was one of the few sweet treats that a Soviet child could readily have. Honey even back then was thought of as a superfood and we consumed tons of it. That’s why I now jokingly say it runs in my veins. My love affair with honey only deepened as I grew up and discovered other unique honeys from around the world. The seemingly endless variety of textures and flavours never seizes to fascinate me.
I especially enjoy honey married with my other passion – Farmhouse and Artisan cheese (aka Fine Cheese). Both are delicious and good for you separately, but are even more amazing when enjoyed together. Here in Britain, for some people pairing cheese and honey seems like a novel and maybe even a silly idea. However, in Europe in countries like France, Italy and Greece people have been enjoying cheese with honey for centuries, if not millennia.
If you ask me, the cheese-honey duo is appropriate at any time of the day. But if you want to enjoy them for breakfast then the most appropriate cheeses would be young creamy, milky ones, like Ricotta, Cottage Cheese and even Burrata. Drizzled with runny honey they gain another beautiful dimension, as well as a whole lot of health-enriching properties.
During the day, you can go for slightly more mature and more intense flavoured cheeses like La Tur, Selles-sur-Cher and even Gorgonzola Dolce. On a light cracker with a drizzle or a scoop of honey they will be a gorgeous treat after a leisurely brunch or lunch. If you prefer harder cheese, like Pecorino or cheddar, I recommend opting for set honey, like Scottish Heather Honey (which has recently been confirmed to be an actual superfood. How amazing is that!)
In the evening I would suggest serving your “big-hitters”, especially if the cheeseboard is the very last course of the meal in your house. Big flavoured cheeses like, Isle of Mull, Fiore Sardo or aged Comte, as well as strong blues like Roquefort and Stilton, they would all pair with honey very nicely. The intense sweetness of honey mellows out the big character of the cheese and creates a match made in heaven. Would I suggest runny or set honey for these cheeses? The choice is actually yours – either type will work beautifully. However, to find your perfect combination I do encourage a lot of experimentation.
I hope I have given you some good ideas above and you’ll give these two amazing foods a try together. And when you do, make sure to savour every bite joyfully and mindfully!
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The Cheese Lady x