Recently, I decided to do a pairing of cheese and honey since I've been busy making infused honeys this early summer. I invited ms. cookworm to come over and she generously helped lay everything out and then helped me taste it all. We set up a little tasting station out in the garden on one of the tables I built recently and I brought out a number of tiny bowls from my collection for all the honeys to be contained in, and some of my antique spoons for the drizzling.
I had done some reading and research about which cheeses to choose and what honeys they should be paired with. As it ended up, I was surprised by which I liked the best.
our first pairing:
La Tur with rose infused honey
La Tur is a mixed milk cheese from Piedmont, Italy and comes with an interesting curling pattern across its face. It is a mix of cow, sheep and goat milk and is very soft and delicate. The pairing of rose infused honey was definitely the right choice, the floral quality of the roses mingled well with the cheese. This was my 2nd favorite of the testing.
our second pairing:
aged Gouda with rose infused honey
Aged Gouda is similar in texture to a Parmigiano-Reggiano. It is rich and crystalline and has a salty taste as well. It was paired with lavender honey (not infused but the bees were busy in the lavender to make this one). This one was ok but ended up being my least favorite. Perhaps some wine might have brought out something more complex in the taste.
our third pairing:
fresh goat cheese and Chaumes with rosemary infused honey
Chaumes is a strong smelling but mild tasting cheese and is my favorite when I do grilled cheese right. It is a cheese that definitely needs to sit out before eating to let it get properly runny. Goat cheese is, one of my other best liked, and I found a wonderful one at the store which was very creamy and mellow. Both of these were paired with a savory, rosemary infused honey I made last week. This pair turned out to also be a definitely one to remember. I think this time the cheese enhanced the honey instead of the other way round.
our fourth pairing:
Passendale and buckwheat honey
I was a little skeptical at first about this one. Buckwheat honey is really the molasses of honeys. It is deep and strong tasting and very thick. Passendale is a flemish cheese and is similar to Chaumes. It is creamy but firm and has a fairly upfront but not overpowering taste. And together, by far my favorite of the night. The Passendale does something complex to the buckwheat honey, some sympathetic magic. If you get a chance, definitely give it a try.
so on to the contest ....
I am going to give away a jar of the rose infused honey, handcrafted by me from the roses in my garden, to one lucky winner here on the blog. I'll run this contest until July 1st.
All you have to do is leave a comment on this post about cheese or honey, a memory of yours or a favorite recipe suggestion. Whatever you'd like to share with everyone. On July 1 I'll randomly pick a winner.
As a brief teaser, this year has been exceptional in my garden due to it being cool and rainy early on in the spring. A vintage year for rose infusing.