Semi-Soft Cheese

Semi-soft or semi-firm cheese is a category of cheese that falls between the soft and hard cheese categories in terms of texture and moisture content. These cheeses typically have a moderate moisture content and a slightly firmer texture compared to soft cheeses, while still retaining some creaminess. They offer a balance between the smoothness of soft cheeses and the firmness of hard cheeses.

The texture of semi-soft cheese can vary depending on the specific variety and how it is produced. Some semi-soft cheeses are slightly springy or rubbery, while others have a more supple and pliable texture. They can range from smooth and buttery to slightly crumbly.

Semi-soft cheeses can come from various milk sources, including cow, goat, or sheep. Each type of milk can contribute different flavors and textures to the cheese. For example, goat milk-based semi-soft cheeses tend to have a slightly tangier and more robust flavor compared to cow milk-based varieties.

Due to their versatile texture and flavors, semi-soft cheeses are excellent for snacking, as ingredients in sandwiches and salads, and for melting in cooked dishes. They pair well with a range of accompaniments such as fruits, nuts, cured meats, and crackers. Semi-soft cheeses also pair nicely with both red and white wines, making them a great choice for wine and cheese pairings.

When storing semi-soft cheeses, it’s important to keep them refrigerated to maintain their freshness and prevent spoilage. It’s recommended to wrap them in wax or parchment paper to allow them to breathe and maintain their texture.

In summary, semi-soft or semi-firm cheeses offer a delightful middle ground between soft and hard cheeses. With their creamy yet slightly firmer texture and a range of flavors, they provide versatility in both cooking and snacking, making them a favorite choice among cheese lovers.

Abbaye de Cîteaux

Beer Pairing: 

Bière de Garde, Belgian Dubbel, Saison, Belgian Tripel, Witbier

Abbaye de Cîteaux, also known as Cîteaux Abbey Cheese, is a type of cheese with a rich history, rooted in the traditions of monastic cheesemaking. Its origin can be traced back to the Cîteaux Abbey, a French monastery located in Burgundy.

The Cîteaux Abbey was founded in 1098 by a group of Cistercian monks who sought to follow a more rigorous interpretation of the Benedictine Rule. As part of their self-sufficiency and to support their monastic life, the monks began producing cheese using milk from their own cows. Over time, their cheesemaking skills and techniques became renowned, and the cheese produced at Cîteaux Abbey gained popularity beyond the monastery walls.

Abbaye de Cîteaux is a semi-soft, washed-rind cheese with a distinctive orange color and a creamy interior. It is made from cow’s milk and is known for its delicate and slightly pungent aroma. The cheese has a smooth and supple texture, with flavors ranging from mild and buttery when young to more robust and complex with age.

The production of Abbaye de Cîteaux follows traditional methods that have been passed down through generations of monks. The milk is carefully collected, and the cheese is handmade using specific techniques and aging processes. The wheels of cheese are washed regularly with brine, which contributes to the development of its characteristic rind and flavor profile.

Today, the production of Abbaye de Cîteaux has expanded beyond the monastery, with selected dairies continuing the tradition under the supervision of the monks. The cheese has gained recognition and appreciation both in France and internationally, reflecting its historical significance and the craftsmanship of the Cistercian monks.

Also known as:l'Abbaye de Cîteaux, Trappe de Cîteaux, Trappiste de Cîteaux
Made from:unpasteurized cow's milk
Origin:France
Region:Burgundy
Age:Minimum 3 to 6 week
Texture:creamy, dense and smooth
Rind:washed
Color:white
Flavor:acidic, milky, smooth
Aroma:barnyardy, earthy
Vegetarian: No
Wine:Volnay, Burgundy, Chablis, Beaujolais

Beer Pairing Description: 

Belgian Dubbel: A Belgian Dubbel, with its rich maltiness, caramel sweetness, and subtle spice notes, can complement the creamy and slightly nutty flavors of Abbaye de Cîteaux. The beer’s malty sweetness and moderate carbonation can provide a delightful contrast to the cheese.

Saison: A Saison, known for its fruity and peppery yeast flavors, can pair well with Abbaye de Cîteaux. The beer’s refreshing and effervescent character can cleanse the palate between bites of the creamy cheese, while its subtle spice notes can enhance the cheese’s delicate flavors.

Belgian Tripel: A Belgian Tripel, with its complex flavors of fruity esters, spicy phenols, and mild sweetness, can be a great partner for Abbaye de Cîteaux. The beer’s higher alcohol content can cut through the cheese’s richness, while its fruity and spicy elements can complement the cheese’s subtle flavors.

Witbier: A Witbier, a Belgian-style wheat beer, offers a light and refreshing option for pairing with Abbaye de Cîteaux. The beer’s citrusy and herbal notes can accentuate the cheese’s creamy flavors, while its effervescence can provide a cleansing effect on the palate.

Bière de Garde: A Bière de Garde, a French farmhouse ale, can make an interesting pairing with Abbaye de Cîteaux. The beer’s malt-forward profile, mild fruitiness, and subtle caramel notes can harmonize with the cheese’s creamy and nutty characteristics.

Ädelost

Beer Pairing: 

Stout, Porter, Barleywine, Belgian Strong Ale, Fruit Lambic

Ädelost cheese, also known as Blue-Veined Swedish cheese, has a fascinating history, originating in Sweden. The name “Ädelost” translates to “noble cheese” in Swedish, reflecting its esteemed status and distinctive qualities.

The production of Ädelost cheese can be traced back to the mid-20th century when it was first created by the Swedish dairy company, Arla. Inspired by the famous French Roquefort cheese, Ädelost was developed as a blue cheese made from cow’s milk. It was an ambitious endeavor to create a unique and high-quality cheese in Sweden.

The production process of Ädelost cheese involves several steps. Initially, fresh cow’s milk is pasteurized to ensure food safety and prevent bacterial contamination. Then, a specific strain of Penicillium mold is added to the milk, which imparts the characteristic blue veins and distinct flavor to the cheese. The mold spores grow within the cheese during the aging process, giving it its signature appearance.

After the curdling process, the cheese is formed into wheels and left to mature in cool and humid environments for several weeks. During this time, the cheese develops its complex flavors and distinctive blue marbling. The aging period allows the cheese to soften and develop a creamy texture while maintaining its tangy and slightly salty taste.

Ädelost cheese is renowned for its rich, sharp, and slightly tangy flavor profile, which intensifies as it ages. The blue veins running through the cheese create a beautiful contrast against the pale yellow interior. It is often enjoyed crumbled over salads, melted in sauces, or spread on bread and crackers.

Also known as:L'Adelost, Blue-Veined Swedish, Bredbar smältost med grönmögelost
Made from:pasteurized cow's milk
Origin:Sweden
Region:nationwide
Age:8 - 12 weeks
Texture:creamy
Rind:natural
Color:blue
Flavor:salty, sharp, tangy
Aroma:strong
Vegetarian:No
Wine: Port, Sauternes, Riesling

Beer Pairing Description: 

Stout: A rich and creamy stout can be an excellent match for Ädelost. The roasted malt flavors and the slightly sweet undertones of the stout can complement the intense and savory notes of the blue cheese, creating a harmonious pairing.

Porter: Similar to stout, a porter offers roasted malt flavors and a smooth, medium-bodied profile. Its chocolatey and caramel notes can work well with the tanginess and creaminess of Ädelost.

Barleywine: A barleywine, with its high alcohol content and complex flavors, can stand up to the robust and bold character of Ädelost. The beer’s caramel and toffee-like sweetness can provide a pleasant contrast to the tangy blue cheese.
India Pale Ale (IPA): For those who enjoy contrasting flavors, an IPA can be an interesting choice. The hop bitterness of the IPA can cut through the richness of the cheese and cleanse the palate, while the citrusy and floral hop flavors can complement the sharpness of Ädelost.

Belgian Strong Ale: The fruity esters, spicy phenols, and higher alcohol content of a Belgian Strong Ale can pair nicely with Ädelost. The beer’s complexity and carbonation can enhance the cheese’s flavors and help balance its intensity.

Fruit Lambic: If you prefer a fruit-infused beer, consider pairing Ädelost with a fruit lambic, such as cherry or raspberry lambic. The sweet and tart fruit flavors can provide a pleasant contrast to the tangy blue cheese and add an additional layer of complexity to the pairing.

American Cheese

Beer Pairing: 

Pilsner, Lager, Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Blonde Ale, Weißbier

American cheese is a processed cheese product that is known for its smooth texture and mild flavor. While it has become synonymous with the classic American cheeseburger and grilled cheese sandwiches, its history and production methods are interesting to explore.

The origins of American cheese can be traced back to the late 19th century. It was developed as an alternative to European cheeses by American cheese producers who aimed to create a cheese that could be mass-produced, had a longer shelf life, and could be easily sliced or melted. This led to the invention of processed cheese, which involved blending different cheeses, usually cheddar, with emulsifiers and stabilizers to achieve the desired texture and melting properties.

The production of American cheese involves several steps. Initially, natural cheeses, typically cheddar, are made using traditional cheese-making techniques. These cheeses are then shredded and blended with ingredients such as salts, emulsifiers (such as sodium citrate), and coloring agents. The mixture is heated and melted, creating a smooth and homogeneous cheese product. Once melted, it is poured into molds or forms to give it the characteristic shape and size.

The processing of American cheese allows for a consistent texture, melting ability, and extended shelf life compared to natural cheeses. However, the trade-off is that it can lack the complexity and distinct flavors found in artisanal or traditional cheeses.

American cheese has become a staple in American cuisine, particularly for fast food and deli-style sandwiches. It melts easily, has a creamy texture when melted, and provides a mild and smooth flavor that appeals to a wide range of palates. 

Also known as:Processed cheese, American Cheddar
Made from:pasteurized cow's milk
Origin:United States
Region:Wisconsin, California
Age:2 - 3 months
Texture:creamy and smooth
Rind:rindless
Color:yellow
Flavor:creamy, mild
Aroma:milky
Vegetarian: Yes (microbial rennet )
Wine:Veltliner, Beaujolais, Syrah, Shiraz, White Zinfandel

Beer Pairing Description: 

Lager: A crisp and clean lager can be a great choice to pair with American cheese. The beer’s light and refreshing character can provide a neutral backdrop that allows the creamy and mild flavors of the cheese to shine.

Pilsner: A classic pilsner, with its light and slightly bitter profile, can be a complementary match for American cheese. The beer’s subtle hop bitterness can provide a pleasant contrast to the cheese’s mild flavors.

Weißbier: A wheat beer, with its light and fruity notes, can pair well with American cheese. The beer’s refreshing character can complement the creaminess of the cheese, and its subtle fruitiness can add a pleasant layer of flavor.

Amber Ale: An amber ale, with its malt-forward profile, can be a nice pairing for American cheese. The beer’s caramel and toasty notes can complement the cheese’s creamy texture, creating a harmonious combination.

Blonde Ale: A crisp and slightly sweet blonde ale can be a good choice to pair with American cheese. The beer’s light maltiness and gentle hops can provide a balanced backdrop to showcase the cheese’s mild and creamy flavors.

Ami du Chambertin

Beer Pairing: 

Doppelbock, Stout, Porter, Weißbier, Dubbel, Eisbock, ESB, Gueuze

Ami du Chambertin is a semi-soft cheese that originates from the Burgundy region in France. Its history and production are closely tied to the rich cheese-making traditions of the area.

The cheese takes its name from the famous Chambertin vineyard in Burgundy, known for its exceptional wines. The “Ami” in the name translates to “friend” in French, indicating its friendly pairing with wine. It is believed that the cheese was created as a complement to the local wines produced in the region.

Ami du Chambertin is made from pasteurized cow’s milk. The production process involves curdling the milk with rennet, cutting the resulting curds, and gently stirring them. The curds are then molded into large cylindrical shapes and allowed to mature.

During the aging process, which typically lasts around six weeks, the cheese develops a bloomy rind that is characteristic of soft-ripened cheeses. This rind is white and slightly fuzzy, adding to the cheese’s visual appeal.

The interior of Ami du Chambertin is creamy, supple, and slightly elastic in texture. It has a pale ivory color and a delicate, tangy flavor. As the cheese ages, it becomes richer and more complex in taste.

Ami du Chambertin is often enjoyed on its own, accompanied by fresh bread or crackers. It also pairs well with fruity wines, such as Pinot Noir, which is a popular wine produced in the Burgundy region.

Also known as:L'Ami du Chambertin
Made from:pasteurized or unpasteurized cow's milk
Origin:France
Region:Gevrey-Chambertin, Burgundy
Age:2 months
Texture:smooth
Rind:washed
Color:white
Flavor:buttery, sharp
Aroma:strong
Vegetarian: No
Wine:Côte de Nuits, Marc, Gevrey du Chambertin, Chassagne

Beer Pairing Description: 

Belgian Dubbel: A Belgian Dubbel, with its malty sweetness and hints of caramel, can pair beautifully with the creamy and buttery flavors of Ami du Chambertin. The beer’s slightly fruity and spicy notes can provide a delightful contrast to the cheese.

Saison: A Saison, with its refreshing and effervescent nature, can be an excellent choice to accompany Ami du Chambertin. The beer’s crispness and mild citrusy flavors can cut through the richness of the cheese and cleanse the palate.

Fruit Lambic: For those who enjoy contrasting flavors, a Fruit Lambic can provide a unique pairing with Ami du Chambertin. The beer’s fruity and tart characteristics can offer a refreshing counterpoint to the cheese’s creamy and savory profile.

Farmhouse Ale: A Farmhouse Ale, also known as a Bière de Garde, can be an interesting choice to pair with Ami du Chambertin. The beer’s earthy and spicy notes can complement the cheese’s flavors, while its moderate bitterness can balance the richness.

Belgian Tripel: The complex flavors of a Belgian Tripel, with its fruity esters and spicy phenols, can harmonize with the creamy and buttery texture of Ami du Chambertin. The beer’s higher alcohol content can also add depth to the pairing.

Arômes au Gène du Marc

Beer Pairing: 

Fruit Beer, Belgian Dubbel, Farmhouse Ale/Saison, Barrel-Aged Beer,  Bière De Garde

Aromes au Gene du Marc is a unique French farmhouse cheese hailing from the Lyonnais region. It is a cheese that showcases the historical connection between cheese and winemaking, as it is produced several months after the last of the vintage in wine-growing regions.

The cheese takes its name from “Gene du Marc,” which refers to the grape residue, skins, and seeds left behind after the pressing of grapes during the winemaking process. These remnants, rich in flavor and aroma, are collected and used in the production of Aromes au Gene du Marc cheese.

The origins of this cheese can be traced back to the traditional practices of French farmers who sought to make the most of their resources. By utilizing the grape remnants, they were able to create a cheese that incorporated the essence of the local terroir.

The production of Aromes au Gene du Marc involves blending cow’s milk with the grape residues. The mixture is carefully aged for several months to allow the flavors to develop and mature. During this aging process, the cheese undergoes a transformation, acquiring a distinctive taste and aroma that is influenced by the characteristics of the local wine.

The result is a cheese with a unique flavor profile, combining the creamy and tangy qualities of cow’s milk with the nuanced and aromatic notes derived from the grape residues. Aromes au Gene du Marc is known for its complex flavors and a delightful interplay between the cheese and the remnants of the wine production.

Today, Aromes au Gene du Marc remains a specialty cheese that reflects the traditional practices and regional flavors of the Lyonnais area. 

Also known as:L'arôme au Gène de Marc
Made from:unpasteurized cow's and goat's milk
Origin:France
Region:Lyonnais, Rhône-Alpes
Age:1 month
Texture:creamy, flaky
Rind:natural
Color:white
Flavor:strong
Aroma:fermented, pungent
Vegetarian:No
Wine:Sancerre Blanc, St Joseph ou Vacqueyras

Beer Pairing Description: 

Belgian Dubbel: A Belgian Dubbel, with its rich maltiness and fruity esters, can be an excellent pairing for Aromes au Gene du Marc. The beer’s caramel and dark fruit flavors can harmonize with the cheese’s complex aromas and enhance its character.

Bière de Garde: This traditional French beer style offers a malt-forward profile with a subtle earthiness. Its toasty and caramel notes can complement the flavors of Aromes au Gene du Marc, while its moderate carbonation can cleanse the palate.

Barrel-Aged Beer: Given the infusion of Marc de Bourgogne in Aromes au Gene du Marc, pairing it with a barrel-aged beer can create a harmonious match. Look for barrel-aged beers like bourbon barrel-aged stouts or barleywines that offer complex flavors such as vanilla, oak, and dark fruits.

Farmhouse Ale/Saison: The fruity and spicy characteristics of a Farmhouse Ale or Saison can interact well with the flavors of Aromes au Gene du Marc. These beer styles often feature notes of citrus, pepper, and yeast-driven flavors that can complement and enhance the cheese’s unique aromas.

Fruit Beer: Consider pairing Aromes au Gene du Marc with a fruit beer that complements its flavor profile. For example, a cherry or raspberry lambic-style beer can offer fruity and tart notes that blend well with the cheese’s aromas.

Appenzeller DPO

Beer Pairing: 

Bock, Belgian Tripel, Amber Ale,  Swiss Lager, Sour Beer

Appenzeller is a Swiss semi-soft to hard cheese with a rich history and distinct flavor. Its origins can be traced back to the region of Appenzell in northeastern Switzerland, where it has been produced for centuries. Appenzeller  holds a protected designation of origin (PDO) status.

The production of Appenzeller is deeply rooted in tradition and follows a specific process. It starts with raw cow’s milk, which is collected from local dairy farms. The milk undergoes a meticulous and controlled production method to ensure the cheese’s unique characteristics.

Once the milk is received, it is heated and mixed with a starter culture and natural rennet. This initiates the fermentation process, where bacteria convert lactose into lactic acid, giving the cheese its distinct flavor profile. After coagulation, the curds are cut, stirred, and then heated again to separate the whey.

The curds are then placed into round molds, where they are pressed to remove additional whey and shape the cheese. The next stage involves brining, where the cheese is soaked in a saltwater solution. This helps develop the cheese’s flavor, texture, and rind formation.

Following brining, Appenzeller undergoes a unique and characteristic step known as “the bath.” This step involves washing the cheese wheels with a secret mixture known as the “herbal brine.” The brine typically contains a blend of wine, cider, herbs, and spices, which contribute to the cheese’s distinctive flavor and aroma.

After the bath, the cheese wheels are transferred to aging cellars, where they mature for several months. During this time, the cheese develops a firm texture, deepens in flavor, and forms a natural rind. The aging process varies, with three main varieties of Appenzeller cheese available: Classic, Surchoix (extra-aged), and Bio (made from organic milk).

Also known as:Appenzeller Classic, Appenzeller Surchoix, Appenzeller Extra
Made from:pasteurized and unpasteurized cow's milk
Origin:Switzerland
Region:Appenzell
Age:Classic, 3 months; Surchoix, 4-6 months; 6 months (guaranteed)
Texture:firm, open and smooth
Rind:Natural washed with herb brine
Color:ivory colored,
Flavor:mild, spicy, strong
Aroma:mild
Vegetarian:No
Wine:Syrah, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Dolcetto

Beer Pairing Description: 

Swiss Lager: Pairing Appenzeller with a Swiss Lager, such as a Helles or a Märzen, can create a harmonious combination. The crisp and clean profile of the lager can complement the nutty and herbal flavors of the cheese without overpowering it.

Belgian Tripel: The bold and complex flavors of a Belgian Tripel can stand up to the intense flavors of Appenzeller. The beer’s fruity esters and spicy phenols can 

Amber Ale: An Amber Ale, with its malty sweetness and balanced bitterness, can pair well with Appenzeller. The caramel and toffee flavors in the beer can complement the cheese’s nutty characteristics, resulting in a rich and satisfying combination.

Bock: A strong and malty Bock beer can complement the robust flavors of Appenzeller. The beer’s sweetness and full-bodied nature can balance the cheese’s intensity, creating a harmonious pairing.

Sour Beer: Consider pairing Appenzeller with a sour beer, such as a Gose or a Berliner Weisse. The tartness and acidity of the beer can provide a refreshing contrast to the cheese’s rich and savory profile.

Bel Paese

Beer Pairing: 

Pilsner, Witbier, Fruit Beer, Belgian Tripel, Saison

Bel Paese is a semi-soft cheese that originated in Italy. Its name, which means “beautiful country” in Italian, reflects the sentiment of Italian pride and love for their homeland. The cheese was created in the early 20th century by Egidio Galbani, an Italian cheesemaker.

Galbani sought to create a cheese that combined the traditional Italian flavors with the characteristics of other European cheeses. Bel Paese was his successful creation, blending the creaminess of French Brie and the mildness of Dutch Gouda. It was first produced in the Lombardy region of northern Italy.

Bel Paese is made from cow’s milk, which is pasteurized and then curdled using rennet. The curds are gently cut and heated to release the whey. The curds are then molded into round shapes and pressed to remove additional whey. The cheese is aged for a short period of time, typically around one to three months, during which it develops a smooth and supple texture.

The cheese has a pale yellow interior with a thin, pale yellow rind. It has a mild and buttery flavor with a subtle tang. Bel Paese is known for its versatility and is often enjoyed on its own or used in various culinary preparations. It melts beautifully, making it suitable for sandwiches, pizzas, and other cooked dishes.

Bel Paese gained popularity in Italy and beyond, and it is now produced by various cheesemakers worldwide. However, the original Bel Paese cheese is still made in Italy, adhering to the traditional methods and maintaining its authentic flavor and characteristics.

Today, Bel Paese is considered a classic Italian cheese and is celebrated for its smooth texture, mild taste, and ability to complement a variety of ingredients. 

Also known as:Butter cheese
Made from:Pasteurized cow's milk
Origin:Italy
Region:Lombardy
Age:6 to 8 weeks
Texture:Creamy and smooth
Rind:plastic
Color:Pale yellow
Flavor:Buttery, mild, milky, sweet
Aroma:Pleasant
Vegetarian:No
Wine:Chianti, Chardonnay, Riesling

Beer Pairing Description: 

Pilsner: A crisp and refreshing pilsner can be an excellent choice to pair with Bel Paese. The beer’s clean and light flavors won’t overpower the mild cheese, allowing its subtle buttery notes to shine through.

Witbier: Witbier, a Belgian-style wheat beer, can be a delightful match for Bel Paese. Witbiers are often spiced with flavors like coriander and orange peel, which can complement the cheese’s mildness and add a touch of citrusy brightness to the pairing.

Saison: A saison, with its complex and fruity flavors, can provide an interesting contrast to the creamy and mild characteristics of Bel Paese. The beer’s peppery and earthy notes can add depth to the pairing without overpowering the cheese.

Belgian Tripel: The fruity esters and spicy phenols of a Belgian Tripel can complement the gentle flavors of Bel Paese. The beer’s slightly higher alcohol content can also help cleanse the palate and enhance the cheese’s creamy texture.

Fruit Beer: Consider pairing Bel Paese with a fruit beer that complements its flavors. For example, a fruit-infused wheat beer or a cherry lambic can add a touch of sweetness and fruitiness that harmonizes with the cheese.

Butterkäse

Beer Pairing: 

Märzen/Oktoberfest, Pilsner, Hefeweizen, Belgian Blonde, Belgian Tripel

Butterkäse, meaning “butter cheese” in German, is a semi-soft cheese that originated in Germany. It is known for its creamy texture and buttery flavor. The history of Butterkäse can be traced back to the 19th century, when it was developed in the German region of Allgäu.

Traditionally, Butterkäse was made from cow’s milk, although variations made with goat or sheep’s milk can also be found. The cheese gets its name from the high butterfat content, which contributes to its rich and smooth characteristics. The production process involves heating the milk, adding bacterial cultures and rennet to initiate coagulation, and then cutting the curds and pressing them into molds. After the initial pressing, the cheese is brined to develop its flavor and create a protective rind.

Following brining, the Butterkäse is allowed to age for a short period, usually around four to eight weeks. During this time, it develops a thin, edible rind and a soft, pale yellow interior. The aging process also enhances the cheese’s flavors, resulting in a mild, nutty taste with a subtle tang.

Butterkäse has gained popularity beyond its German origins and is now enjoyed worldwide. It is widely appreciated for its versatility in both cooking and snacking. Its creamy texture makes it easy to slice and melt, making it a popular choice for grilled sandwiches, fondue, and as a topping for baked dishes.

Today, Butterkäse is produced by both artisanal cheese makers and larger dairy companies. It is made in various regions of Germany, as well as in other countries where it has gained popularity, including the United States.

Also known as:Butterkäese, Damenkäse, Butter cheese
Made from:pasteurized cow's milk
Origin:Germany, United States
Region:Allgäu, Wisconsin (US)
Age:3 – 4 weeks
Texture:smooth, creamy, spreadable
Rind:natural
Color:pale yellow
Flavor:buttery, mild
Aroma:light buttery
Vegetarian:Sometimes (either animal or microbial rennet)
Wine:Riesling, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay

Beer Pairing Description: 

Hefeweizen: A German-style Hefeweizen with its refreshing and fruity notes can be an excellent pairing for Butterkäse. The beer’s banana and clove flavors can complement the creamy and buttery characteristics of the cheese.

Pilsner: A crisp and clean Pilsner can provide a refreshing contrast to the rich and creamy nature of Butterkäse. The beer’s light maltiness and moderate hop bitterness can help cleanse the palate and enhance the cheese’s flavors.

Märzen/Oktoberfest: The malt-forward profile of a Märzen or Oktoberfest beer can complement the creamy texture and buttery flavors of Butterkäse. The beer’s slightly sweet caramel notes can enhance the cheese’s richness.

Belgian Blonde: The fruity and spicy character of a Belgian Blonde ale can create an interesting pairing with Butterkäse. The beer’s subtle yeast-derived flavors can complement the cheese’s creamy texture, while the carbonation can help cleanse the palate.

Belgian Tripel: For a bolder pairing, consider a Belgian Tripel. The beer’s complex flavors, including fruity esters and spicy phenols, can harmonize with the creamy and buttery qualities of Butterkäse.

Caciocavallo

Beer Pairing: 

Pilsner, Witbier Pale Ale, Saison, Belgian Tripel, Amber Ale

Caciocavallo is a traditional Italian cheese that has a rich history and is widely enjoyed for its distinct flavor and versatility in culinary applications. The name “Caciocavallo” translates to “cheese on horseback” in Italian, and it is believed to have originated in southern Italy, particularly in the regions of Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily.

The production of Caciocavallo involves a combination of artisanal techniques and age-old traditions. It is typically made from cow’s milk, although variations using sheep’s or goat’s milk can also be found. The cheese undergoes a process of curdling and heating, followed by stretching and shaping.

Traditionally, Caciocavallo was formed into two elongated shapes, each connected at the top to resemble a saddle, hence the name. The cheese is often tied together with a string and hung to age. This unique shape allowed the cheese to be hung from a pole or beam for maturation, resembling a horseback rider’s saddle, which gave rise to its name.

During the aging process, Caciocavallo develops a firm texture with a smooth and supple interior. The flavor profile can range from mild and buttery when young, to more pronounced and tangy as it ages. It is often compared to provolone, but with a more distinct character.

Caciocavallo is a versatile cheese that can be enjoyed in various ways. It can be eaten on its own, sliced or grated for salads and sandwiches, or melted over grilled dishes. In Italian cuisine, it is commonly used in pasta dishes like baked ziti or added to vegetable and meat preparations for a savory kick.

The production of Caciocavallo has deep-rooted traditions and has been passed down through generations in many Italian families. Today, it is produced both commercially and by artisanal cheesemakers, ensuring its availability to cheese enthusiasts worldwide.

Also known as:Caciocavallo Occhiato, Caciocavallo Podolico, Caciocavallo Silano
Made from:pasteurized cow's milk
Origin:Italy
Region:Basilicata, Southern Italy
Age:a few days up to one year
Texture:springy and stringy
Rind:natural
Color:yellow
Flavor:salty, sharp, spicy, tangy
Aroma:earthy, strong
Vegetarian: No
Wine:Chianti, Pinot Grigio

Beer Pairing Description: 

Pilsner: A crisp and refreshing pilsner can be an excellent choice to pair with Caciocavallo. The beer’s light and clean profile can complement the cheese’s creamy texture and slightly tangy flavor, creating a harmonious combination.

Witbier: Witbier, a Belgian-style wheat beer, with its light and refreshing character, can pair well with Caciocavallo. The beer’s subtle fruity and spicy flavors can complement the cheese’s creamy texture and add a touch of complexity to the pairing.

Amber Lager: An amber lager, with its malt-forward profile and smooth finish, can be a delightful companion to Caciocavallo. The beer’s caramel-like sweetness can enhance the cheese’s flavors and create a balanced combination.

Saison: The earthy and peppery notes of a saison can complement the creaminess of Caciocavallo. The beer’s farmhouse character, along with its fruity and spicy flavors, can provide an interesting contrast to the cheese.

Sour Beer: If you enjoy sour beers, consider pairing Caciocavallo with a sour ale or lambic. The beer’s tartness can play off the cheese’s creaminess and add a tangy and refreshing element to the pairing.

Chaumes

Beer Pairing: 

Belgian Dubbel, Stout, Weißbier, India Pale Ale, Brown Ale

Chaumes is a semi-soft cheese with a rich history and origins rooted in the southwestern region of France. The cheese takes its name from the Chaumes family, who were early producers of this delectable cheese.

The story of Chaumes dates back to the 1970s when a French cheesemaker named Jean-Noël Bongrain set out to create a new cheese that would showcase the flavors of the Pyrenees region. Bongrain wanted to develop a cheese with a unique taste and texture, so he experimented with different techniques and aging processes.

Chaumes cheese is made from pasteurized cow’s milk, and the production process involves several steps. First, the milk is heated and then combined with a bacterial culture and rennet, which helps to coagulate the milk and form curds. The curds are cut and stirred before being molded into specific forms. The cheese is then aged for approximately four weeks.

During the aging process, Chaumes develops its characteristic orange rind, which is edible and imparts a slightly nutty flavor. The interior of the cheese is creamy, supple, and pale yellow, offering a mild and buttery taste with hints of earthiness. The texture is semi-soft, allowing it to be easily spread or melted.

Today, Chaumes is produced not only in France but also in various countries around the world. The Bongrain family has continued to refine the production techniques, ensuring consistent quality and flavor. The cheese has gained popularity for its versatility in cooking and its ability to be enjoyed on its own or as part of a cheese board.

Chaumes pairs well with a variety of accompaniments such as fruits, nuts, and bread. It also complements both red and white wines, allowing for diverse and enjoyable tasting experiences.

Also known as:Chaumes la Crème
Made from:pasteurized cow's or water buffalo's milk
Origin:France
Region:St. Antoine
Age:minimum 2 - 3 weeks
Texture:creamy, smooth, springy and supple
Rind:washed
Color:pale yellow
Flavor:full-flavored, nutty
Aroma:aromatic, strong
Vegetarian:No
Wine:Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Merlot, Red Zinfandel, Beaujolais

Beer Pairing Description: 

Belgian Dubbel: The malty sweetness and caramel flavors of a Belgian Dubbel can harmonize with the creamy and nutty qualities of Chaumes. The beer’s moderate bitterness and fruity esters can create a balanced and satisfying pairing.

Brown Ale: A brown ale, with its toasty and nutty notes, can be an excellent match for Chaumes. The beer’s medium body and mild hop bitterness can complement the cheese’s creamy texture and enhance its rich flavors.

India Pale Ale: An IPA with its hop-forward profile can provide a contrasting pairing for Chaumes. The beer’s citrusy and floral hop flavors can cut through the cheese’s richness and cleanse the palate between bites.

Weißbier: A wheat beer’s light and refreshing character can pair well with Chaumes. The beer’s subtle fruity and spicy flavors can complement the cheese’s buttery and slightly tangy notes, creating a pleasant combination.

Stout: A rich and roasty stout can offer a decadent pairing for Chaumes. The beer’s chocolate and coffee flavors can mingle with the cheese’s creamy texture, resulting in a luxurious and indulgent tasting experience.

Edam AOC

Beer Pairing: 

Amber Lager, English Brown Ale, India Pale Ale, Pilsner, Belgian Witbier

Eadm is a type of cheese that has a long history and originates from the region of West Flanders in Belgium. The name “Eadm” is derived from the Flemish word for “cream.” This unique cheese has been produced for centuries and holds a special place in Belgian culinary traditions.

The production of Eadm cheese begins with cow’s milk, which is sourced from local farms known for their high-quality dairy. The milk is heated and coagulated using rennet, a natural enzyme that causes the milk to curdle. Once the curds have formed, they are cut into small pieces and gently stirred to release the whey.

The curds are then poured into cylindrical molds, and any remaining whey is drained off. The cheese is pressed to remove excess moisture, giving it a compact texture. After pressing, the cheese is aged for several weeks to develop its distinctive flavors and allow the formation of a natural rind.

During the aging process, the cheese develops a rich, creamy interior with a slightly crumbly texture. The flavors range from mild and buttery to more pronounced and tangy, depending on the length of aging. Eadm cheese is often characterized by its pale yellow color and a thin, edible rind that adds complexity to its taste.

Traditionally, Eadm cheese was made by local farmers for personal consumption. However, over time, it gained popularity and began to be produced commercially. Today, it is still primarily made in small dairies in West Flanders, using traditional methods passed down through generations.

Eadm cheese holds a special place in Belgian cuisine and is often enjoyed on its own or as part of a cheese platter. It pairs well with crusty bread, fresh fruits, and Belgian beers, enhancing its creamy and slightly tangy flavors.

Also known as:Manbollen, Katzenkopf, Tete de Maure
Made from:pasteurized cow's milk
Origin:Netherlands
Region:Edam
Age:4 weeks – 10 months
Texture:Pale yellow
Rind:natural
Color:pale yellow
Flavor:creamy, mild, salty, sweet
Aroma:grassy, rich
Vegetarian:No
Wine:Beaujolais, Chardonnay, Chianti, Pinot Gris & Noir, Riesling, Syrah/Shiraz

Beer Pairing Description: 

Pilsner: A classic pilsner, with its crisp and clean profile, can be an excellent choice to pair with Edam. The beer’s light and refreshing nature won’t overpower the cheese, allowing its delicate flavors to shine.

Amber Lager: An amber lager, with its malt-forward character and slightly caramelized notes, can provide a pleasant contrast to the mildness of Edam. The beer’s malty sweetness can complement the cheese’s nutty undertones.

Belgian Witbier: The citrusy and spicy flavors of a Belgian witbier can harmonize with the creamy texture of Edam. The beer’s refreshing nature and hints of coriander and orange peel can elevate the cheese’s subtle flavors.

English Brown Ale: An English brown ale, with its malty sweetness and gentle bitterness, can be a delightful companion for Edam. The beer’s caramel and toffee notes can complement the cheese’s nutty profile, resulting in a well-rounded pairing.

India Pale Ale: For those who enjoy bolder flavors, a hoppy IPA can provide an interesting contrast to the mildness of Edam. The beer’s hop bitterness and citrusy hop flavors can cut through the richness of the cheese and create a dynamic pairing.

Fontina

Beer Pairing: 

Belgian Style, Brown Ale, Cider, Gueuze, IPA, Porter, Saison, Stout

Fontina is a semi-soft cheese that has its origins in the Aosta Valley region of Italy. This cheese has a rich history that dates back centuries. It is believed to have been produced in the region since the 12th century, making it one of the oldest traditional cheeses in Italy.

Fontina cheese is named after the local pastureland called “Fontin,” where cows graze during the summer months. The cheese was initially made by local dairy farmers who used the milk from their cows to create a cheese that could be aged and enjoyed during the winter months when fresh milk was scarce.

The production of Fontina cheese follows traditional methods that have been passed down through generations. It is typically made from raw cow’s milk, which contributes to its distinct flavor and character. The milk is gently heated and then coagulated using rennet to form curds. The curds are cut into small pieces and cooked further to release whey.

The curds are then placed into molds lined with cloth and pressed to remove additional whey. After pressing, the cheeses are salted and aged for a minimum of three months. During the aging process, the cheeses are turned and cared for by expert cheesemakers, resulting in the development of its characteristic flavors and textures.

Fontina cheese has a pale straw-colored interior with a semi-soft, supple texture. It has a rich and nutty flavor with hints of butter and earthiness. The cheese becomes more complex and intense in flavor as it ages. The rind of Fontina is usually a reddish-brown color, which develops naturally during the aging process.

Traditionally, Fontina was made in small-scale dairies in the Aosta Valley region. However, today, it is produced both in Italy and in other parts of the world using similar methods. Authentic Fontina cheese carries the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status.

Also known as:Fontinella, Fontal, Fontella
Made from:pasteurized cow's milk
Origin:Italy
Region:Aosta Valley
Age:2 - 3 months; aged, 6-10 months,
Texture:smooth, supple with tiny holes, semi-soft
Rind:natural
Color:pale ivory to light straw yellow
Flavor:slightly tart, tangy, nutty, light earthy flavor
Aroma:mild, yeasty
Vegetarian:NO
Wine:Chardonnay, Pinot Gris & Noir, Riesling, Syrah/Shiraz Gewürztraminer

Beer Pairing Description: 

Belgian Tripel: The complex flavors of a Belgian Tripel, characterized by fruity esters, spicy phenols, and a slightly sweet profile, complement the nuttiness and creaminess of Fontina. The beer’s effervescence helps cleanse the palate, making each bite of cheese more enjoyable.

India Pale Ale: An IPA’s hoppy bitterness and citrusy notes provide a contrasting and refreshing pairing with the creamy texture of Fontina. The hops’ bitterness can cut through the richness of the cheese, creating a balanced and flavorful combination.

Brown Ale: The caramel and toasty flavors of a Brown Ale harmonize well with the nutty undertones of Fontina. The malt-forward profile of the beer complements the cheese’s creamy texture, resulting in a smooth and comforting pairing.

Saison: A Saison’s earthy and spicy characteristics, along with its dry and effervescent nature, provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of Fontina. The beer’s peppery notes and fruity esters complement the cheese’s flavors, resulting in a well-balanced combination.

Stout: A rich and robust Stout, with its roasted malt flavors and hints of chocolate and coffee, can create a delightful pairing with Fontina. The beer’s intensity and creamy mouthfeel can stand up to the cheese’s creamy texture, while the roasted flavors provide a complementary note to the nutty aspects of the cheese.

Gouda

Beer Pairing: 

Pilsner, India Pale Ale, Belgian Dubbel, Brown Ale, Stout

Gouda is a popular cheese that originated in the Netherlands. Its name comes from the city of Gouda in the South Holland province, where it was first traded in the Middle Ages. The cheese has a rich history that dates back several centuries.

The production of Gouda cheese follows traditional methods that have been passed down through generations. It begins with high-quality cow’s milk, which is heated and mixed with lactic acid bacteria and rennet to initiate the curdling process. The curds are then cut into small pieces and gently stirred to release whey.

The curds are transferred to round molds, where they are pressed to remove additional whey and shape the cheese. After pressing, the wheels are soaked in a brine solution, which contributes to its flavor and helps in the formation of the rind.

Once the brining process is complete, the cheese is left to age. Traditional Gouda wheels are typically aged for several weeks to several years, during which time they develop a more complex flavor and a firmer texture. Young Gouda is mild and creamy, while aged Gouda becomes drier and develops a nutty and caramel-like flavor.

Today, Gouda cheese is produced not only in the Netherlands but also in various countries around the world. However, the authentic Gouda from the Netherlands is still highly regarded for its quality and adherence to traditional methods.

Gouda has gained immense popularity globally and is enjoyed both on its own and as an ingredient in numerous dishes. Its versatility makes it suitable for melting, grating, or eating as a table cheese. Gouda pairs well with fruits, nuts, bread, and wine, making it a favorite choice for cheese enthusiasts.

Also known as:Boerenkaas Gouda, Graskaas Gouda, Jong Gouda, Goudam
Made from:pasteurized or unpasteurized cow's, goat's or sheep's milk
Origin:Netherlands
Region:South Holland, Gouda
Age:1 - 6 months
Texture:compact, crumbly, dense and springy
Rind:waxed
Color:yellow
Flavor:light, buttery, nutty, sweet
Aroma:pungent
Vegetarian:No
Wine:Champagne, Cayuga White, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Sémillon

Beer Pairing Description: 

Pilsner: A classic pilsner, with its light and crisp profile, is an excellent choice to pair with Gouda. The beer’s subtle bitterness and refreshing carbonation cleanse the palate and complement the cheese’s creamy texture and mild flavors.

India Pale Ale: The hoppy and bitter characteristics of an IPA can provide a pleasant contrast to the rich and nutty flavors of Gouda. The hop bitterness cuts through the cheese’s creaminess, while the citrus and floral notes in the beer can enhance the cheese’s taste profile.

Belgian Dubbel: The caramel and toffee flavors of a Belgian Dubbel make it a great match for Gouda. The beer’s malty sweetness complements the nutty flavors of the cheese, creating a harmonious pairing. The Dubbel’s medium body and slight spiciness add depth to the combination.

Brown Ale: A brown ale with its malt-forward profile and hints of chocolate and caramel pairs well with Gouda. The beer’s nutty and roasted flavors complement the cheese’s characteristics, resulting in a satisfying and balanced pairing.

Stout: Gouda can also be paired with a rich and velvety stout. The beer’s roasted malt flavors, coffee notes, and sometimes hints of chocolate can create a delightful combination with the cheese’s creamy texture and nutty taste. The full-bodied nature of a stout adds depth to the pairing.

Halloumi

Beer Pairing: 

Weißbier, Pilsner, Saison, India Pale Ale, Stout

Halloumi is a unique and popular cheese with a history that traces back to the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly Cyprus. Believed to have been created during the Byzantine era, its production and consumption have evolved over centuries.

Halloumi cheese is traditionally made from a blend of sheep’s and goat’s milk, although cow’s milk is sometimes used. The cheese-making process begins by curdling the milk with the addition of rennet. The curds are then heated and pressed to remove excess whey. Afterward, the curds are kneaded to achieve a characteristic texture that is both firm and springy.

One of the defining features of Halloumi is its ability to withstand high temperatures without melting. This quality makes it ideal for grilling or frying, as it retains its shape and forms a golden crust while softening in the center. To enhance its flavor, the cheese is often soaked in brine, which imparts a salty taste.

Originally, Halloumi was made by local shepherds as a way to preserve milk and provide sustenance during long journeys. Over time, it gained popularity and became a staple in Mediterranean cuisine. Today, Halloumi is enjoyed not only in Cyprus but also in various countries around the world.

Halloumi’s unique taste and texture have led to its inclusion in a wide range of dishes. It can be served as a standalone appetizer or incorporated into salads, sandwiches, and even desserts. Its versatility has made it a favorite among vegetarians and those seeking alternatives to meat.

While Halloumi was traditionally made by hand, modern production techniques have evolved to meet growing demand. Large-scale producers now employ industrial methods, although traditional small-scale artisanal production still exists. 

Also, known as: Haloumi-Style Cheese, Haloumi, Hallomi, Holloum
Made from:pasteurized or unpasteurized cow's, goat's and sheep's milk
Origin:Cyprus
RegionAvdhimou
Age:1 - 2 months
Texture:chewy, creamy, firm and springy
Rind:rindless
Color:white
Flavor:salty, savory, tangy
Aroma: strong
Vegetarian:Yes, but some can use animal rennet
Wine:Sémillon, Chenin Blanc, Beaujolais

Beer Pairing Description: 

Pilsner: The crisp and clean profile of a pilsner can provide a refreshing contrast to the salty and savory nature of Halloumi. The beer’s mild bitterness and subtle malt sweetness can balance the cheese’s flavors, making for a light and enjoyable pairing.

India Pale Ale: An IPA’s hop-forward and citrusy flavors can create an interesting contrast with Halloumi’s saltiness. The hop bitterness can help cleanse the palate, while the fruity hop aromas can complement the cheese. Consider a West Coast IPA or a New England IPA with tropical fruit notes.

Saison: The rustic and earthy qualities of a saison can pair nicely with Halloumi. Saisons often have a spicy and slightly tart character that can enhance the cheese’s flavors. The beer’s effervescence and dry finish can also help balance the cheese’s richness.

Weißbier: A wheat beer, with its light and crisp profile, can be a great match for Halloumi. The beer’s subtle fruity and clove-like flavors can complement the cheese’s saltiness while providing a refreshing contrast. Look for a German-style Hefeweizen or a Belgian Witbier.

Stout: For a bold and rich pairing, consider a stout with Halloumi. The roasted malt flavors and creamy mouthfeel of a stout can provide a decadent backdrop to the cheese’s saltiness. Look for a dry stout or an oatmeal stout for a smoother texture.

Havarti

Beer Pairing: 

Pilsner, Saison, Belgian Witbier, India Pale Ale, Brown Ale, Saison

Havarti is a semi-soft cheese that originated in Denmark. Its history dates back to the mid-19th century when a Danish farmer named Hanne Nielsen experimented with different cheese-making techniques. Nielsen’s innovation led to the creation of a cheese that eventually became known as Havarti.

The cheese is named after the Havarthigaard, the farm where Nielsen first developed the recipe. Initially, Havarti was made using raw milk from cows grazing on the Danish countryside. However, modern production methods now involve pasteurized milk.

Havarti cheese is produced through a multi-step process. First, the milk is heated and mixed with bacterial culture and rennet to initiate coagulation. The curds are then cut into small pieces and stirred to release whey. The curds are molded into blocks and pressed to expel additional whey. After pressing, the cheese is immersed in a brine solution to enhance the flavor and preserve it.

Traditionally, Havarti was aged for several months to develop a more intense flavor. However, in its younger form, Havarti is also highly popular due to its creamy and buttery taste. Modern variations of Havarti include flavored varieties with added herbs, spices, or even chili peppers.

Havarti gained popularity not only in Denmark but also internationally due to its versatility and mild yet distinctive flavor. It has become a staple cheese in many countries, widely enjoyed on cheese platters, sandwiches, and in various recipes. Its smooth and supple texture makes it excellent for melting, making it a preferred choice for grilled cheese sandwiches and fondue.

Also known as:Cream Havarti, Havarti Creamy
Made from:pasteurized cow's milk
Origin:United States
Region:Wisconsin
Age:4 – 12 weeks
Texture:smooth, supple
Rind:rindless
Color:pale yellow
Flavor:buttery, creamy, slightly acidic
Aroma:fresh
Vegetarian:Yes (vegetarian rennet)
Wine:Beaujolais, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Merlot, Rosé, Zinfandel

Beer Pairing Description: 

Pilsner: A crisp and refreshing pilsner can be a great choice to pair with Havarti. The light, malty sweetness of the beer can complement the buttery notes of the cheese without overpowering its delicate flavors.

Belgian Witbier: The citrusy and spiced characteristics of a Belgian witbier can provide a pleasant contrast to the creamy texture of Havarti. The beer’s subtle fruity and herbal notes can enhance the mild flavors of the cheese.

India Pale Ale: If you enjoy bolder flavors, an IPA can be a suitable choice. The hop bitterness and citrusy hop aromas of an IPA can cut through the richness of Havarti, while the fruity and resinous hop flavors can create an interesting interplay with the cheese.

Brown Ale: A nutty and malty brown ale can complement the creamy and slightly tangy flavors of Havarti. The beer’s caramel and toasty notes can harmonize with the cheese, creating a comforting and flavorful combination.

Saison: The effervescent and fruity qualities of a saison can pair well with Havarti. The beer’s complex flavors, including peppery and spicy notes, can add an interesting dimension to the mild and creamy cheese.

Humboldt Fog

Beer Pairing: 

India Pale Ale, Sour Beer, Saison, Brown Ale, Belgian Witbier

Humboldt Fog is a distinctive American artisanal cheese that originated in California. It was created by Mary Keehn, the founder of Cypress Grove Chevre, in the early 1980s. This semi-soft, surface-ripened goat cheese has gained popularity for its unique flavor profile and visually striking appearance. The cheese takes its name from the foggy coastal region of Humboldt County, where Cypress Grove Chevre is located.

The production of Humboldt Fog involves a multi-step process. Initially, fresh goat milk is collected and pasteurized. Then, a specific combination of cultures and rennet is added to coagulate the milk. Once the curds form, they are cut and transferred to molds, where whey drains off, leaving behind a solid curd. The cheese is then aged for a short period before the final transformation takes place.

To create the characteristic layer of edible vegetable ash that distinguishes Humboldt Fog, a thin line of food-grade ash is sprinkled across the center of the cheese. This ash acts as a natural neutralizer, balancing the cheese’s acidity and creating a distinct flavor profile. Following this, the cheese undergoes a process of aging and ripening in temperature and humidity-controlled environments.

During the aging process, the cheese develops a bloomy rind, which gives it a soft and creamy texture near the edges, while the center retains a firmer and crumbly texture. The flavor profile of Humboldt Fog is complex, offering a combination of bright citrusy notes, earthiness, and subtle tanginess.

Also known as:Humboldt Fog Mini, Humboldt Fog Grande
Made from:pasteurized goat's milk
Origin:United States
Region:California
Age:1-2 months
Texture:creamy, runny and smooth
Rind:mold ripened
Color:white
Flavor:citrusy, herbaceous, tangy
Aroma:floral, goaty, pungent
Vegetarian:Yes (microbial, vegetarian rennet)
Wine:Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Rosé, Pinot Noir, Vouvray

Beer Pairing Description: 

Belgian Witbier: The refreshing and citrusy notes of a Belgian Witbier can harmonize with the creamy and tangy flavors of Humboldt Fog. The beer’s subtle spiciness and hints of coriander and orange peel can provide a delightful contrast to the cheese.

India Pale Ale: The hoppy bitterness and floral aromas of an IPA can complement the richness of Humboldt Fog. The intense hop flavors can cut through the creaminess of the cheese, while the fruity and resinous hop characteristics can add complexity to the pairing.

Saison: The dry, peppery, and slightly funky characteristics of a Saison can create an interesting combination with Humboldt Fog. The beer’s effervescence and farmhouse qualities can cleanse the palate and balance the creamy texture of the cheese.

Brown Ale: A malty and nutty Brown Ale can provide a caramel-like sweetness that pairs well with Humboldt Fog. The beer’s toasty flavors and mild bitterness can complement the cheese’s creamy and earthy notes.

Sour Beer: The tart and acidic qualities of a sour beer, such as a Gose or a Berliner Weisse, can contrast beautifully with the rich and creamy texture of Humboldt Fog. The bright acidity of the beer can cut through the richness of the cheese and create a refreshing and tangy pairing.

Jarlsberg

Beer Pairing: 

Blonde Ale, Hefeweizen, Pilsner, Belgian Witbier, Amber Lager

Jarlsberg cheese is a popular Norwegian cheese known for its mild, nutty, and slightly sweet flavor. It has a semi-soft texture and is characterized by its distinctive large round holes, similar to Swiss cheese.  

Jarlsberg cheese was first developed in the mid-19th century in Norway. It was created by a team of Norwegian dairy researchers led by Ole Martin Ystgaard at the Agricultural University of Norway and was named after the town of Jarlsberg, located in Vestfold County, Norway. The aim was to produce a cheese with a flavor similar to Swiss Emmental but with a more efficient production process.

Jarlsberg cheese is made from cow’s milk and follows a similar production method as Swiss Emmental cheese. The cheese is produced using pasteurized cow’s milk, specific starter cultures, rennet, and a unique aging process. During production, the milk is heated and inoculated with bacteria cultures, including Propionibacterium freudenreichii. This bacteria creates carbon dioxide gas, resulting in the characteristic holes (or “eyes”) in the cheese. After the curds are formed and cut, they are pressed and placed in molds. The cheese is then aged for a minimum of three months, allowing it to develop its distinct flavor and texture.

Once the cheese is removed from the molds, it undergoes an aging process, typically for several weeks to a few months. During this time, the cheese develops its unique flavors and texture. The cheese is often coated with wax or plastic to protect it during aging.

Also known as:-
Made from:pasteurized cow's milk
Origin:Norway
Region:Jarlsberg, Fræna
Age:12-18 months
Texture:firm, large irregular holes
Rind:waxed
Color:pale yellow
Flavor:rich, buttery, nutty, mild, slightly sweet
Aroma:nutty
Vegetarian:Yes (vegetable, microbial rennet)
Wine:Chardonnay, Riesling, Chablis, White Burgundy, Gewürztraminer, Merlot

Beer Pairing Description: 

Pale Ale: A balanced and moderately hoppy pale ale can provide a pleasant contrast to the creamy and slightly sweet nature of Jarlsberg. The beer’s hop bitterness and citrusy notes can help cleanse the palate and enhance the cheese’s flavors.

Belgian Witbier: The fruity and spicy characteristics of a Belgian witbier can pair nicely with Jarlsberg. The beer’s citrus zest, coriander, and subtle wheat flavors can complement the cheese’s nuttiness and provide a refreshing combination.

Amber Lager: An amber lager, with its smooth and malty profile, can be a delightful companion to Jarlsberg. The beer’s caramel and toasty notes can complement the cheese’s nutty flavors and create a harmonious pairing.

Blonde Ale: A blonde ale, known for its smooth maltiness and subtle hop character, can provide a balanced backdrop to Jarlsberg. The beer’s gentle flavors will complement the mild and nutty taste of the cheese without overpowering it.

Hefeweizen: The fruity and yeasty flavors of a Hefeweizen can create an interesting pairing with Jarlsberg. The beer’s banana and clove notes can bring out new dimensions in the cheese, resulting in a unique combination of flavors.

Maroilles

Beer Pairing: 

Belgian Dubbel, India Pale Ale, Farmhouse Ale/Saison, Belgian Tripel, Stout or Porter

Maroilles is a type of cheese that originated in the region of Maroilles in northern France. It is named after the small village of Maroilles in the Avesnois area of the Nord department. Maroilles cheese is a soft, washed-rind cheese made from cow’s milk. It is known for its pungent aroma and rich flavor.

The history of Maroilles cheese dates back many centuries. It is believed to have been developed by monks in the local monasteries during the Middle Ages. The monks used to produce this cheese as a way to preserve surplus milk and provide a food source during the colder months.

Over time, Maroilles cheese gained popularity outside the monasteries, and its production expanded. It received an official decree in 1610 from François I, making it the first cheese to be granted an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status in France. The AOC designation ensures that the cheese is produced in a specific geographic region and follows traditional methods.

Maroilles cheese is still produced today using traditional techniques. The cheese is made from raw cow’s milk, which is curdled and then placed in molds to drain. Afterward, the cheese is salted and aged for several weeks in a humid cellar. During the aging process, the cheese is regularly washed with a brine solution, which contributes to the development of its characteristic orange-red, sticky rind and distinct aroma.

Maroilles cheese has a strong and savory flavor, often described as rich, earthy, and slightly tangy. The texture is soft and supple when young, but it becomes creamier and runny closer to the rind as it ages.

Also known as:Marolles, Vieaux Paunt
Made from:pasteurized or unpasteurized cow’s milk (pasteurized if fermier)
Origin:France
Region:Maroilles, Picardy, Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Age:2 weeks to 5 months
Texture:soft, oily
Rind:washed with brine
Color:ivory to pale yellow
Flavor:soft, creamy
Aroma:pungent
Vegetarian:No
Wine:Gewürztraminer, Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe

Beer Pairing Description: 

Belgian Dubbel: The rich and malty flavors of a Belgian Dubbel can complement the creamy and tangy characteristics of Maroilles. The beer’s caramel notes and subtle sweetness can balance the cheese’s pungency, creating a harmonious pairing.

India Pale Ale: An IPA with its hoppy bitterness can provide a contrasting and cleansing effect when paired with Maroilles. The beer’s citrusy and piney hop flavors can cut through the cheese’s richness and enhance its savory notes.

Farmhouse Ale/Saison: The rustic and spicy flavors of a farmhouse ale or saison can complement the complex and earthy qualities of Maroilles. The beer’s yeast-driven character and peppery notes can enhance the cheese’s tanginess and create a harmonious flavor profile.

Belgian Tripel: A Belgian Tripel, with its higher alcohol content and fruity esters, can balance the pungent flavors of Maroilles. The beer’s sweetness and complex fruity undertones can provide a counterpoint to the cheese’s tangy and savory characteristics.

Stout or Porter: The roasted malt flavors and chocolatey notes of a stout or porter can create an interesting contrast when paired with Maroilles. The beer’s smooth and rich character can complement the cheese’s creamy texture and bold flavors.

Monterey Jack

Beer Pairing: 

American Pale Ale, Mexican Lager, Hefeweizen, Amber Lager, IPA (India Pale Ale)

Monterey Jack is a semi-soft cheese that originated in the United States. It is named after Monterey, a city in California, where it was first produced in the 19th century.

Monterey Jack cheese was created by a Spanish Franciscan friar named Junípero Serra, who established the Alta California missions in the late 18th century. The cheese was originally made by Mexican Franciscan friars using cow’s milk. It is believed that the recipe for Monterey Jack cheese was derived from a type of cheese called queso blanco, which was popular in Spain and Mexico.

The cheese gained popularity in the 19th century as California’s dairy industry expanded. David Jacks, a businessman and entrepreneur, played a significant role in popularizing and commercializing Monterey Jack cheese. He owned a cheese factory in Monterey and began marketing the cheese under the name “Monterey Jack.” Jacks worked on improving the recipe and aging process, resulting in a milder and more flavorful cheese that appealed to a broader audience.

Monterey Jack cheese is known for its creamy texture and mild, buttery flavor. It is typically pale yellow in color and has a slightly tangy taste. The cheese can vary in aging, with younger versions being milder and softer, while aged versions develop a sharper flavor.

Over time, variations of Monterey Jack have emerged, such as Pepper Jack, which includes spicy peppers in the cheese, and Colby Jack, which is a blend of Monterey Jack and Colby cheese.

Also known as:Monterey, Dry Jack (aged version) and Pepper Jack (pepper spiced)
Made from:pasteurized cow's milk
Origin:United States
Region:Monterey, California
Age:two weeks to a month
Texture:compact, creamy, firm, open and supple
Rind:natural
Color:pale yellow
Flavor:buttery, mild
Aroma:aromatic
Vegetarian:Yes (vegetarian rennet)
Wine:Beaujolais, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Gris, Red Zinfandel, Riesling

Beer Pairing Description: 

American Pale Ale: An American Pale Ale (APA) with its moderate hop bitterness and citrusy notes can provide a refreshing and flavorful contrast to Monterey Jack. The hops can cut through the richness of the cheese, while the citrus flavors can enhance its creamy texture.

Mexican Lager: A crisp and light Mexican Lager pairs well with Monterey Jack cheese, particularly when used in Mexican-inspired dishes. The clean and refreshing profile of the beer complements the mild and creamy nature of the cheese, making it a great choice for tacos, quesadillas, or nachos.

Hefeweizen: The fruity and banana-like esters of a Hefeweizen beer can beautifully complement the subtle flavors of Monterey Jack. The beer’s effervescence and wheat base provide a refreshing and slightly sweet backdrop to the cheese, creating a pleasant combination.

Amber Lager: An Amber Lager, with its balanced maltiness and slight caramel notes, can bring out the creamy and nutty flavors of Monterey Jack. The smooth and malty character of the beer harmonizes with the cheese, resulting in a pleasant and comforting pairing.

IPA (India Pale Ale): For those who enjoy bolder flavors, an IPA can be an interesting choice to pair with Monterey Jack. The hop bitterness and intense hop aromas of an IPA can contrast with the cheese’s mildness, creating an intriguing flavor interplay.

Muenster

Beer Pairing: 

Weißbier, Belgian Tripel, Amber Lager, Saison, Belgian Blonde Ale

Muenster cheese is a semi-soft cheese that originated in the region of Alsace, which is located on the border between France and Germany. However, the American Muenster cheese is a variation of the original French and Alsatian versions.

American Muenster cheese is a smooth and pale yellow cheese with a mild flavor. It has a soft, creamy texture and a slightly tangy taste. Unlike its European counterparts, American Muenster is made from pasteurized cow’s milk and is typically milder in flavor. The cheese is often characterized by its orange rind, which is formed by washing the cheese during the aging process. The rind is edible but does not contribute to the flavor significantly.

The history of American Muenster cheese dates back to the mid-19th century when German immigrants settled in the United States, particularly in the Midwest. These immigrants brought with them their cheese-making traditions, including the production of Muenster cheese. Over time, American cheesemakers adapted the original recipe and developed their own version of Muenster cheese.

Today, American Muenster cheese is produced in various regions across the United States, including Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. It has gained popularity for its creamy texture and versatility in cooking, often used in sandwiches, melts, and as a topping for burgers. It’s worth noting that American Muenster is distinct from traditional European Muenster cheese, which has a stronger flavor and a washed rind that develops a reddish hue.

Also known as:American Muenster, Munster
Made from:Pasteurized cow's milk
Origin:United States
Region:Wisconsin
Age:minimum 3 weeks; 4 weeks to 3 months
Texture:elastic, smooth and supple
Rind:washed
Color:orange or white surface, with creamy white interior
Flavor:mild to mellow, faint aroma, savory, creamier with age
Aroma:pungent
Vegetarian: Yes (vegetarian rennet)
Wine:Gewürztraminer, Beaujolais, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Gris

Beer Pairing Description: 

Weißbier: The light, refreshing, and often slightly fruity notes of a wheat beer can complement the creamy and slightly tangy nature of Muenster cheese. The wheat beer’s effervescence can also cleanse the palate between each bite, enhancing the overall experience.

Belgian Tripel: A Belgian Tripel, with its complex flavors and higher alcohol content, can be a fantastic pairing with Muenster cheese. The beer’s fruity and spicy notes can enhance the mild flavors of the cheese while the higher alcohol content provides a nice contrast.

Amber Lager: An amber lager, with its malt-forward profile and moderate bitterness, can be a great companion to Muenster cheese. The caramel and toasty flavors of the beer can harmonize with the creamy and buttery texture of the cheese, creating a balanced pairing.

Saison: A saison, with its dry and refreshing qualities, can be an interesting choice to pair with Muenster cheese. The beer’s fruity and spicy characteristics can complement the cheese’s mild flavor, creating a unique and enjoyable combination.

Belgian Blonde Ale: A Belgian Blonde Ale can be an excellent companion for Muenster cheese. The beer’s delicate sweetness and hints of spice can complement the mild and slightly tangy profile of the cheese, creating a harmonious pairing.

Oaxaca

Beer Pairing: 

Mexican Lager, Vienna Lager, Amber Ale, Witbier, India Pale Ale

Oaxaca cheese, also known as Quesillo, is a traditional Mexican cheese named after the region of Oaxaca, located in southern Mexico. It has a rich history and is deeply rooted in the culinary traditions of the area.

The origin of Oaxaca cheese can be traced back to the indigenous Zapotec civilization that inhabited the region centuries ago. These early inhabitants were skilled in the art of cheese-making, and their techniques and knowledge were passed down through generations.

Oaxaca cheese is made using cow’s milk and follows a traditional production process. It begins with the curdling of milk using natural rennet or a combination of rennet and lactic acid bacteria. The curds are then heated and stretched, a process known as “pasta filata” or “pulled-curd.” This stretching gives the cheese its characteristic stringy and elastic texture, similar to mozzarella.

After the stretching process, the cheese is molded into large balls or braided ropes, which are then immersed in a brine solution to enhance flavor and preserve the cheese. Oaxaca cheese is typically white or pale yellow in color and has a mild, slightly tangy flavor.

The cheese is widely used in traditional Mexican dishes, particularly in the region of Oaxaca. It is a popular ingredient in quesadillas, enchiladas, and tlayudas (a local specialty). The stringy texture of Oaxaca cheese makes it ideal for melting, creating a creamy and stretchy consistency in dishes.

While Oaxaca cheese has deep roots in Mexican cuisine, it has also gained popularity beyond its place of origin. It can now be found in many parts of Mexico and internationally, making it a sought-after cheese for those who appreciate its unique characteristics.

Also known as:queso Oaxaca, Asadero, queso de hebra Quesillo, Chihuahua
Made from:pasteurized cow's milk
Origin:Mexico
Region:Oaxaca
Age:3 - 6 months
Texture:creamy, smooth
Rind:rindless
Color:creamy, off-white
Flavor:mild, creamy, slightly tangy
Aroma:pleasant
Vegetarian:No
Wine:Chianti, Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Riesling

Beer Pairing Description: 

Mexican Lager: A crisp and light Mexican lager can be a fantastic choice to pair with Oaxaca cheese. The beer’s clean and refreshing profile can contrast with the cheese’s mild creaminess, allowing the cheese’s flavors to shine through.

Vienna Lager: A Vienna lager with its slightly toasty and caramel notes can create a lovely harmony with Oaxaca cheese. The malty sweetness of the beer can complement the cheese’s tangy notes while providing a balanced and enjoyable pairing.

Amber Ale: An amber ale, with its malt-forward character and moderate bitterness, can enhance the flavors of Oaxaca cheese. The beer’s caramel and toffee notes can complement the cheese’s creamy texture and subtle tang.

Witbier: A witbier, characterized by its refreshing citrus and coriander flavors, can be an interesting pairing choice. The beer’s light and zesty profile can cut through the richness of Oaxaca cheese, creating a refreshing and harmonious combination.

India Pale Ale: For those who enjoy bold flavors, an IPA can be paired with Oaxaca cheese. The hop-forward bitterness and citrusy notes of the IPA can provide a contrast to the cheese’s creaminess and bring out its subtle tanginess.

Port-Salut

Beer Pairing: 

Pale Ale, Dry Cider, Belgian Witbier, Blonde Ale, Saison

Port-Salut is a semi-soft cheese that has a rich history dating back to the 19th century. It originated in the Loire Valley of France, in a Trappist monastery called Notre-Dame du Port du Salut. The cheese was initially made by the monks as a way to sustain themselves. Over time, its popularity grew, and the recipe was eventually shared with a local cheese producer, who commercialized its production.

Port-Salut is made from cow’s milk and has a distinctive orange-red rind. Its interior is pale yellow and has a smooth, creamy texture. The flavor is mild, buttery, and slightly tangy. The cheese’s name, “Port-Salut,” is derived from the French phrase “port du salut,” meaning “gate of health,” reflecting the belief that the cheese had health benefits.

To produce Port-Salut, the cow’s milk is pasteurized and then inoculated with bacteria cultures to initiate the fermentation process. Once the curds have formed, they are cut into small pieces and gently stirred before being molded into their characteristic round shape. The cheeses are then aged for a few weeks, during which time they develop their distinct flavors and texture.

In the early 20th century, the production of Port-Salut expanded beyond the monastery, and it became commercially available in France and eventually worldwide. Today, Port-Salut is produced by several cheese companies, both in France and other countries. However, the original recipe and name “Port-Salut” are protected under the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) regulations, ensuring that only specific producers can use the name for the authentic cheese.

Port-Salut’s mild flavor and creamy texture have made it a popular cheese for consumption both on its own and in cooking. It pairs well with fruits, bread, and light-bodied wines. 

Also known as:Port du Salut, Port Salut
Made from:pasteurized cow's milk
Origin:France
Region:Brittany
Age:30 - 60 days
Texture:creamy and smooth
Rind:washed
Color:bright orange rind with a pale-yellow paste
Flavor:mellow, mild
Aroma:pungent
Vegetarian:Yes (vegetarian rennet)
Wine:Bourgueil, Chinon, Beaujolais, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir

Beer Pairing Description: 

Belgian Witbier: Witbier, a Belgian-style wheat beer, is a classic pairing for Port-Salut. Its light and refreshing nature, with hints of citrus and coriander, complements the creamy texture and mild flavors of the cheese. The beer’s subtle spiciness adds an interesting contrast.

Blonde Ale: A Blonde Ale, with its balanced malt sweetness and crisp finish, pairs well with Port-Salut. The beer’s gentle flavors and moderate carbonation won’t overpower the cheese, allowing its creamy and buttery notes to shine.

Saison: Saison, a farmhouse-style ale, can be a delightful choice for pairing with Port-Salut. The beer’s fruity and spicy esters, along with its dry finish, complement the cheese’s creamy texture and provide a refreshing contrast.

Pale Ale: A classic Pale Ale, with its hoppy bitterness and citrusy notes, can create a nice balance with Port-Salut. The beer’s moderate to high hop profile cuts through the cheese’s richness and adds a layer of complexity to the pairing.

Dry Cider: For a non-beer option, consider pairing Port-Salut with a dry cider. The crisp and tart qualities of the cider provide a refreshing contrast to the cheese’s creaminess, while the subtle fruitiness of the cider complements the mild flavors.

Raclette

Beer Pairing: 

Schwarbierz, Pilsner, Kölsch, Belgian Witbier, German Hefeweizen

Raclette is a semi-soft cheese that originated in the Alpine regions of Switzerland and France. Its name comes from the French word “racler,” meaning “to scrape,” which refers to the traditional method of melting the cheese and scraping it onto various accompaniments. The history of Raclette can be traced back several centuries to the mountainous regions where it was first produced.

Historically, Raclette was made by Alpine herdsmen who used their surplus milk to produce cheese during the summer months. The cheese was consumed during the colder seasons, providing sustenance to the local communities. Over time, Raclette gained popularity beyond its original region and became a beloved cheese throughout Switzerland and France.

The production of Raclette involves using cow’s milk, predominantly sourced from Alpine cows grazing on mountain pastures. The milk is heated and combined with specific cultures and rennet to initiate the curdling process. The curds are then cut, stirred, and heated until they reach the desired consistency. After the curds are molded and pressed, the cheese wheels are aged for several months, allowing the flavors to develop.

Traditionally, Raclette cheese is melted using a special apparatus called a Raclette grill or melter. The cheese wheel is placed close to a heat source, and as it melts, the surface is scraped onto plates or served directly onto accompaniments such as boiled potatoes, cured meats, pickles, and onions. The melted cheese has a rich, creamy texture and a distinctive nutty flavor.

Also known as:Robiola: Lombardia, Rocchetta, Piemonte, due Latti, La Tur, Bosina
Made from:unpasteurized cow's, goat's, and sheep's milk
Origin:Italy
Region:Lombardia and Piemonte, some from Langhe, Northern Italy
Age:3 to 10 days, more complex versions aged up to 3 months
Texture:chewy, firm and stringy
Rind:natural; some wrapped in chestnut or Savoy cabbage leaves
Color:straw-yellow
Flavor:smooth, full, tangy and mildly sour
Aroma:faint mushroom
Vegetarian:No
Wine:Sparkling wines, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Italian Dolcetto

Beer Pairing Description: 

Pilsner: The crisp and clean flavors of a classic Pilsner can provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of Raclette cheese. The light maltiness and subtle hop bitterness of the beer can help cleanse the palate between bites of melted Raclette.

Belgian Witbier: The citrusy and spicy notes of a Belgian Witbier can complement the creamy and nutty flavors of Raclette cheese. The beer’s refreshing character, with hints of coriander and orange peel, can enhance the overall taste experience.

Kölsch: Kölsch is a crisp and clean German beer style that originated in Cologne. Its light and delicate flavors, with a slight fruity and herbal character, make it a great match for Raclette. The beer’s refreshing qualities can help cleanse the palate between each bite of the rich and buttery cheese.

Schwarzbier: Schwarzbier, also known as black lager, is a German beer style that combines dark malts with a smooth and clean profile. Its roasted malt flavors, along with hints of chocolate and coffee, can provide a delightful contrast to the creamy and mild Raclette cheese. The beer’s subtle bitterness can cut through the cheese’s richness.

German Hefeweizen: A German Hefeweizen, with its banana and clove esters, pairs nicely with Raclette cheese. The beer’s fruity and yeasty flavors harmonize with the nuttiness of the cheese, creating a delightful combination on the palate.

Robiola

Beer Pairing: 

Hefeweizen/Weißbier, Belgian Witbier, Saison, Lambic, Belgian Tripel

Robiola is a soft-ripened cheese that originated in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. It is named after the “robiola” plant, a wild herb that grows abundantly in the area. The history of Robiola dates back centuries, with its production techniques deeply rooted in Italian cheese-making traditions.

The origins of Robiola can be traced to the monastic communities of medieval times, where monks began crafting this cheese using local cow, sheep, or goat milk. Over time, the production methods and recipes evolved, resulting in the distinctive cheese we know today.

Traditionally, Robiola is made by blending milk from different sources, such as cow, sheep, and goat, to achieve a unique flavor profile. This combination of milks contributes to the cheese’s creamy texture, tangy notes, and delicate aroma. The milk is gently heated and inoculated with starter cultures and rennet to initiate the curdling process.

After the curds form, they are cut, drained, and placed in molds to shape the cheese. The molds are then pressed to remove excess whey and encourage the formation of the cheese’s characteristic bloomy rind. Following this, the cheeses are aged for a short period, typically a few weeks, to develop their flavors and achieve the desired ripeness.

During the aging process, Robiola is often coated with a thin layer of edible mold, such as Penicillium candidum, which contributes to the development of the velvety white rind. This rind not only adds visual appeal but also helps to create a creamy and luscious interior. The longer Robiola ages, the more the flavors intensify and the texture becomes softer and runnier.

Also known as:Robiola: Lombardia, Rocchetta, Piemonte, due Latti, La Tur, Bosina
Made from:unpasteurized cow's, goat's, and sheep's milk
Origin:Italy
Region:Lombardia and Piemonte, some from Langhe, Northern Italy
Age:3 to 10 days, more complex versions aged up to 3 months
Texture:chewy, firm and stringy
Rind:natural; some wrapped in chestnut or Savoy cabbage leaves
Color:straw-yellow
Flavor:smooth, full, tangy and mildly sour
Aroma:faint mushroom
Vegetarian:No
Wine:Sparkling wines, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Italian Dolcetto

Beer Pairing Description: 

Belgian Witbier: The refreshing and citrusy flavors of a Belgian Witbier can pair well with the creamy and slightly tangy Robiola cheese. The beer’s wheat base and hints of coriander and orange peel can complement the cheese’s subtle flavors and creamy texture.

Saison: A Saison, with its earthy and peppery notes, can create an interesting pairing with Robiola cheese. The beer’s dry and effervescent character can provide a nice contrast to the cheese’s creaminess while its spicy flavors complement the cheese’s delicate nuances.

Hefeweizen/Weißbier: These traditional German wheat beers offer a refreshing and effervescent profile with notes of banana, clove, and citrus. The fruity and spicy flavors of Hefeweizen or Weißbier can harmonize with the creamy and slightly tangy characteristics of Robiola, creating a delightful combination.

Lambic: A Lambic, particularly a fruit lambic such as cherry or raspberry, can offer a unique pairing with Robiola cheese. The fruity and tart qualities of the lambic can complement the cheese’s creamy texture and provide a contrast to its mild flavors.

Belgian Tripel: The complex flavors and higher alcohol content of a Belgian Tripel can pair well with Robiola cheese. The beer’s fruity esters and spicy phenols can harmonize with the cheese’s delicate flavors and creamy texture, creating a satisfying combination.

Scamorza

Beer Pairing: 

Lager, Weißbier, Belgian Witbier, Amber Ale, Stout

Scamorza is a traditional Italian cheese that originated in Southern Italy, particularly in the regions of Apulia, Campania, and Molise. Its name is derived from the Italian word “scamozza,” which means “a shapeless mass” or “a bag.” This cheese has a history dating back several centuries and is closely related to mozzarella.

The production of Scamorza follows a similar process to mozzarella. It begins with the curdling of fresh cow’s milk, which is then heated and acidified. Once the curds form, they are stretched and kneaded to develop the characteristic stretchy and elastic texture. The curds are then shaped into small pear-shaped or cylindrical forms and immersed in brine for a short period. After brining, the cheese is aged for a short period to develop its unique flavors.

Traditionally, Scamorza was made with buffalo milk, which provided a rich and creamy flavor. However, today, it is more commonly produced using cow’s milk. This cheese is known for its mild and delicate taste, with a slightly tangy and smoky flavor profile.

Scamorza is often consumed fresh, within a few days of production. However, it is also popular in its smoked form, known as “Scamorza Affumicata.” To achieve the smoky flavor, the cheese is hung in a well-ventilated room or exposed to smoke from burning straw or wood chips.

Throughout its history, Scamorza has been a staple in Italian cuisine. It is commonly used in cooking due to its melting properties, making it ideal for dishes like pizza, pasta, and grilled sandwiches. The creamy and stretchy texture of Scamorza when melted adds a delightful stringy quality to dishes.

Also known as:Scamorza Affumicata
Made from:pasteurized cow's and sheep's milk
Origin:Italy
Region:Apulia, Campania and Molise
Age:2-3 days
Texture:chewy, firm and string
Rind:natural
Color:white
Flavor:milky, smoky
Aroma:fresh, milky, smoky
Vegetarian:No
Wine:Oak-aged Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Orvieto

Beer Pairing Description: 

Lager: A crisp and refreshing lager can be an excellent pairing for Scamorza cheese. The clean and subtle flavors of the lager won’t overpower the delicate smokiness of the cheese, allowing its unique flavors to shine through.

Weißbier: Weißbier, with its light and refreshing profile, is an excellent choice for pairing with Scamorza cheese. The beer’s fruity and spicy notes, often with hints of banana and clove, can harmonize with the cheese’s mild and slightly sweet flavor. The effervescence of Weißbier can also help cleanse the palate.

Belgian Witbier: The light and refreshing qualities of a Belgian Witbier, with its citrus and coriander notes, can complement the creamy texture and smoky flavors of Scamorza. The beer’s crispness and subtle spice can enhance the overall experience.

Amber Ale: An amber ale, with its malt-forward profile and caramel sweetness, can provide a nice balance to the smokiness of Scamorza. The beer’s rich flavors and slightly toasted character can enhance the cheese’s nuances, creating a satisfying pairing.

Stout: For those who enjoy bolder flavors, a stout can be an interesting pairing choice for Scamorza cheese. The roasted malt and chocolate notes of the stout can complement the smoky flavor of the cheese, creating a combination that is both robust and indulgent.

Taleggio

Beer Pairing: 

Saison, Bière De Garde, American India Pale Ale, Dry Stout, Belgian Dubbel

Taleggio is a semi-soft Italian cheese with a rich history and a distinctive flavor. Its origins can be traced back to the Lombardy region in northern Italy. The cheese takes its name from the Val Taleggio, a valley in the Lombardy Alps where it was traditionally produced.

The production of Taleggio dates back many centuries. It is believed to have been developed by Cistercian monks who settled in the region during the 10th century. The cheese was initially made as a way to utilize surplus milk and preserve it for longer periods.

Taleggio is traditionally made from whole cow’s milk. The production process begins with the curdling of milk using natural whey starter or lactic acid bacteria. The curds are cut and left to rest before being transferred to molds. The cheese is then salted and aged for a minimum of 35 days in humid environments, often in caves or special aging rooms.

During the aging process, Taleggio develops its characteristic thin, pinkish rind that is often speckled with mold. The aging also contributes to its soft and slightly sticky texture, with a pale yellow interior that becomes creamier closer to the rind. The cheese’s flavor profile is complex, combining fruity, tangy, and slightly tangy notes with a mild earthiness.

Taleggio gained popularity beyond its local region during the 20th century. Today, it is protected under the European Union’s PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) status, which ensures that cheese labeled as Taleggio meets specific production criteria and comes from the designated region.

Also known as:Taleggio dop di Peghera
Made from:pasteurized cow's milk
Origin:Italy
Region:Val Taleggio
Age:6 - 10 weeks
Texture:creamy
Rind:washed
Color:pale yellow
Flavor:fruity, mild, tangy
Aroma:pungent, strong
Vegetarian:No
Wine:Nebbiolo, Rosé, Pinot Noir

Beer Pairing Description: 

Bière de Garde: Bière de Garde is a traditional French beer style known for its maltiness and balanced flavors. Its caramel and toffee notes, along with a hint of fruitiness, can complement the creamy and slightly pungent character of Taleggio cheese. The beer’s smooth and medium-bodied profile pairs well with the cheese’s rich and buttery texture.

Belgian Dubbel: A Belgian Dubbel, with its complex malt profile, dark fruit flavors, and hints of spice, can be an excellent pairing for Taleggio. The beer’s sweetness and depth of flavors can harmonize with the cheese’s tangy and creamy qualities, creating a delightful combination of taste sensations.

Saison: A Saison, with its refreshing and effervescent character, can provide a nice contrast to the richness of Taleggio. The beer’s fruity and spicy notes, along with its dry finish, can balance the cheese’s creaminess and enhance its flavors. The lively carbonation of the Saison can cleanse the palate between bites.

American India Pale Ale: An American IPA, with its hop-forward profile and citrusy flavors, can create an interesting contrast with Taleggio. The beer’s bitterness and hop aromas can cut through the richness of the cheese and provide a lively counterpoint to its tanginess. Look for IPAs with a balanced malt backbone to avoid overwhelming the delicate flavors of the cheese.

Dry Stout: A Dry Stout, with its roasted malt flavors and dry finish, can complement the creamy and slightly tangy nature of Taleggio. The beer’s roasted notes and subtle bitterness can provide an interesting contrast to the cheese’s flavors, creating a harmonious pairing. The dry finish of the stout can cleanse the palate and prepare it for the next bite of cheese.

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