Chocolate + Cheese

January 17, 2022

Chocolate + Cheese

Chocolate + Cheese. Cheese + Chocolate. You know they’re besties, but do you know why? Welcome back to another episode of “Mika Investigates Cheese.”

First off we need to state the obvious: Both chocolate and cheese are delicious and nuanced, yet strangely complex for foods that seem so simple. Both are incredibly, undoubtedly addictive… they awaken something deep inside that you can’t deny. The similarities don’t end there; both are made from some kind of fermentation, and that right there is the root cause of the flavors both of these foods have. Fermentation creates the flavors, the smells, and even the colors present in these foods! Cheese is fermented by bacteria which acts with rennet to curdle the milk into curds which are pressed into cheese wheels. Chocolate is double fermented with enzymes in two stages: alcohol and acetic fermentations, which involves converting the sugars in cocoa sugar into alcohol at one point. How does this lead to the beautiful pairing of the two?

Pairing is all about matching flavors. These two are off to a good start already with the fermentation! You can’t pair any cheese with any chocolate, oh no. Ideally you’re either matching similar flavor profiles with each other (umami + umami) or two wildly different ones (triple cream + dark chocolate). It’s like the idea of sweet and sour or combining two nutty flavors. How do you know if pairing will work or not? Sometimes it’s obvious (Barely Buzzed’s espresso and lavender rub make it a beautiful companion to dark chocolate), and sometimes you have to experiment.

To properly experiment, first choose the two things you wish to pair. In this case, one chocolate and one cheese. Taste each individually… to get the best results, make sure to let the chocolate melt in your mouth and let the cheese sit on your tongue so you get the proper flavor profiles. Try together and if it works, congrats!! If not, try again until you succeed. It’s a good way to spend the afternoon ;)

One thing's for certain: Milk chocolate is way too much dairy to go with cheese. With that, go forth and pair to your cheesy heart’s content!





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