Pairing Cheese with Produce

You can slice, dice, cut in shapes or juliennes, grate or even melt Canadian cheese as the perfect pairing with garden- and orchard-fresh offerings from across the country.

Typically, we see articles on the pairing of cheese with beer, wine, cider and port, but there are also many options for pairing cheese with vegetables and fruit. Traditional pairings have Cheddar with apples or cauliflower, Feta with peppers, Blue cheese with pears and Bocconcini with tomatoes, but there are many more tasty options to discover.

Potatoes make for a perfect cheese pairing; adding cheese offers endless options for this family dinner staple. The choice of Canadian Swiss style cheeses, Triple Cream Brie, washed rinds, Cheddar or even Quark added to mashed, twice baked or scalloped potatoes is a treat. Feel the taste sensation occur when succulent baby potatoes are coated with a layer of melted Raclette. Baked sweet potato sprinkled with Aged Cheddar shows a balance between the sweet and salty.

Canadian cheese and vegetables make for delicious sandwiches when topped with Caramelized Onion Cheese and sautéed mushroom and red peppers. Soups can definitely be enhanced with the addition of cheese: gratinee borscht with a crouton and Canadian Swiss style cheese or crumble pieces of Blue cheese on hot fresh carrot soup. Enjoy blanched fresh snap peas with sticks of Havarti, medium Cheddar, Monterey Jack or fresh Mozzarella. Garnish coleslaw with grated Cracked Pepper Verdelait or savour small cubes of Truffle cheese on fresh garden greens. Belgium endive has a slight bitter taste that can be offset by salty, creamy Blue cheese, enhanced with some dried cranberries. Slices of fresh red or green peppers shared with Mozzarella sticks make a colourful, tasty snack.

For optimal pairings of fruit with cheese, select fruit that is sweet and ripe. Melon cubes are suited for salad combinations that could include Brie, Feta or Mozzarella. Brie is a classic with figs, but try it with kiwi fruit for a change. Fresh, milky Ricotta or Cottage cheese can be garnished with many of the tree fruits like peaches, pears and apricots. Simmer autumn fruit into a compote and serve with Aged Cheddar, Canadian Swiss, Triple Cream Brie or Blue cheese. Dried fruit complements well cheese plates and party trays.

Experimentation results in many surprising and tasty combinations. Be daring and enjoy!

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