Honey & Cheese Pairing Guide
Honey is not something you would usually associate with cheese, however the sweetness is a perfect contrast to the saltiness of cheese. Just like cheese, honey has many depths and variations of flavour, dependent on where they’re made. To accomplish the best combination, honey should be used to elevate the flavour and add an additional flavour element.
This is a great way to change up your cheese boards over the festive period. Amongst the many parties, dinners and celebrations, many guests are underwhelmed by the usual offerings. Adding honey to your cheese board will not only enhance the flavours, but spark new conversations. You may even discover a new pairing.
So that you’re prepared for these conversations, and so you know exactly what to serve together, we’ve created the following pairing guide with our friends over at Hilltop Honey, who have the perfect honey for every type of cheese.
The Best Cheeses for Honey
The best news is that Honey pairs well with almost any type of cheese. It is especially good with mild and creamy cheese, a sharp blue, aged cheeses, or any tangy and acidic cheeses.
Ricotta drizzled with a light honey like a Hungarian Acacia Honey can be served for breakfast or even as a dessert. This pairing is fantastic with fruit like figs, apricots, and pairs. You can also add a salty element by serving Prosciutto on the side.
Brie and soft cheeses are lovely with a drizzle of a richer honey like British Blossom Honey and a garnish of nuts, like walnuts or toasted pine nuts. We find a darker honey like this lends it’s floral flavour really well to a soft cheese.
Blue cheese is heavenly with honey. If you usually shy away from strong blue cheese, this is the perfect way to change your mind! The sweet honey will mellow out the strong flavour and create flavours you’ve never experienced before. We would suggest pairing this with Honeycomb as the textures go great together! Honeycomb is the purest form of honey, straight from the hive.
Aged cheeses like a sharp cheddar are delicious with a drizzle of Spanish Thyme Honey, or again, cut honeycomb. The thyme honey has a delightful floral aroma with a strong herbal flavour and can really enhance a simple cheddar.
Finally we have fresh and creamy soft goat cheese that’s tangy. This and other acidic cheeses, like feta, are amazing with a drizzle of Organic Fairtrade Honey. This smooth runny honey has a rich amber colour and a delicate floral aroma.
What to Serve with Honey and Cheese
It helps to serve slices of baguette or crackers along with your cheese plate. These give the cheese and honey a solid foundation to build on top of, making it all a little easier to eat.
Along with those, sliced meat is a savoury addition to a cheese plate and makes a cheese plate a little heartier. Salami pairs especially well, as do other cured meats such as serrano ham and prosciutto.
Olives are a popular snack and pair well with most types of cheese. Serve both green and black olives, to add different colours and flavours to the cheese plate. Some types of olives to look for are Kalamata and Manzanilla.
Fruit is the most common pairing with cheese. Both healthy and flavourful, fruit also brings colour and texture to a cheese plate. Fruits that pair especially well with cheese are figs, apples, pears, berries, and grapes. Dried fruit, like apricots, also pair well especially when combined with nuts like walnuts.