We teamed up with our friends at Bee Raw to provide you with a comprehensive honey and cheese pairing guide. We recommend sourcing raw honey for the cheese pairing experience, as raw (non-heat treated) honey is much more flavorful and dynamic than its pasteurized counterpart. Interestingly enough, the philosophy around raw honey - its culinary and nutritional benefits, parallels the benefits of raw milk cheese (See What is Raw Milk Cheese?).
Recommended Cheese Pairings: Fresh & Bloomy Rind Cheeses
Rich, fresh styles such as a creamy ricotta, fresh goat cheese, or soft-ripened bloomy rind styles with a bright, fresh flavor profile are the best pairing for buckwheat honey. The pairing philosophy is similar to pairing a dark ale, stout, or porter with a fresher cheese variety. Opposites compliment and contrast each other to provide a balanced pairing experience.
Recommended beer pairing: Barleywine
Recommended Cheese Pairings: Mild, Sweet and Grassy Semi-Firm Aged Cheeses
This honey's bright citrus notes call for a cheese accompaniment that is grassy and sweet in its flavor profile. This could include medium-aged sheep milk cheeses from the Pyrenees or semi-soft cow milk tommes. The combination is an even more juicy and citrus flavor that would be beautiful paired with an IPA or pale ale.
Cheeses featured above from top left to right: Treadway Creek, Wino Red, Teffenhardt
Recommended beer pairing: IPA or pale ale
Recommended Cheese Pairings: Alpine or Basque Style Cheeses
Caramelized notes of burnt sugar abound in this crystalline textured honey. Its full-bodied flavor profile is a perfect match for robust alpine or basque-style cheeses that are deeply nutty with natural caramel notes and salt-forward. Traditional Alpine styles range from Gruyère, Comté, and Challerhocker. Traditional Basque cheeses range from Tomme Brulée, Idiazabal, and Chebris. We've featured American artisan counterparts that pair well. Notes of wildflowers will unfold.
Recommended beer pairing: Brown Ales
Recommended Cheese Pairings: Blue Cheeses
This honey tastes like a woodsy forest - the hearty characteristics of the blueberry bush shine through. We recommend pairing this cheese with a well-balanced blue cheese where the blue has a sweet and creamy milk base and notes of bright minerality, earth, and salt. Traditional pairings like Stilton or Fourme D'Ambert work here. We've provided an American alternative here.
Cheese featured in this photo: Bayley Hazen Blue
Recommended beer pairing: Red Belgian Strong, Cream Ale
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Photo by Bee Raw Honey