Why You Should Pair Creamy Cheeses With High Acidity Accoutrements

Every cheese board is different. Some people prefer cow's milk cheese, others go for sheep's milk. Some people like hard and crumbly cheeses, while others like soft and creamy ones. Whichever cheeses you choose, though, it's important to pair them with the right accoutrements to create a perfect bite. That's why, when opting for creamy cheese, we recommend reaching for pairings that are high in acid in order to balance the flavor and maximize your enjoyment.

Just like there are complementary colors in art and design, there are also complementary flavors in food. Especially with strong or rich flavors, you want to add an element of contrast in order for your palate to better appreciate those tastes instead of getting flavor fatigue. When it comes to creamy cheeses, the element most present is fat. So, the ideal accoutrement for such cheeses would be ingredients capable of cutting through that fat in order to create contrast. Acid is a known complementary flavor to fat, with fat softening the assertiveness of acidic ingredients and acid brightening the heaviness of the fat, so acidic foods should be your go-to when looking for a pairing.

Suggested acidic pairings for creamy cheeses

Of course, it's one thing to pick an acidic food at random, and another to choose one that will really suit your creamy cheese well. First, consider if you would like the flavor profile of your pairing to be sweet or savory. Sweet pairings that are high in acid include fruits, jams, and other sweet condiments. Savory acidic pairings are more likely to be pickles or vinegar-based condiments. To save you some time, we've listed some of our favorite combinations.

For buttery, French cheeses like Brie or Camembert, try reaching for cranberry jam to up the sweetness or a Dijon mustard for a tangy kick. Goat cheese or feta go best with a drizzle of honey or some pickled peppers — ideally with Greek spices. The funky fruitiness of Gorgonzola or blue cheese pairs spectacularly with juicy grapes or some briny pickled onions. Finally, the delicate but intensely creamy ricotta and burrata pair best with bright yet mild additions like lemon or tomato. This list is not the end-all-be-all, however; use it as a starting point to experiment with your favorite pairings and create a cheese board that is uniquely yours.