What happens when you combine two masters of their craft in the cheese and chocolate world? You get an incredibly passionate pairing session. We sat down with our Head Cheesemonger, Brian Gilbert and Theo Chocolate’s Chocolate Ambassador, Aaron Lindstrom for a tasting inspired by Theo’s Chocolate and Cheese Pairing classes.
With Theo Chocolate Bars and Confections complemented by Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, it’s easy to create your own tasting this season.
New Woman with Orange 70% Dark Chocolate "Holiday Feels"
The medley of spices in Beecher’s New Woman cheese pairs beautifully with Theo’s Orange 70% Dark Chocolate in a symphony of bright, bold flavors that’s perfect for your holiday party. The citrus from the chocolate brings out the nutmeg and cayenne in New Woman in a balanced way. Lindstrom says, “This combination really feels like a celebratory holiday dish.” Gilbert agrees, “There’s something that’s so comforting about this duo that reminds me of the holidays.”
Marco Polo with Sea Salt 70% Dark Chocolate
"The Reliable Friend"
This classic combination of pepper from Marco Polo and sea salt from the Sea Salt 70% Dark Chocolate is simple, yet it continues to form new flavors. From your first bite, the nuttiness from the cacao starts to rise and continues to form a multi-faceted dimension of flavor. While the sea salt brings out the pepper, Gilbert says, “There’s just enough sweetness in the chocolate to keep the pepper at bay.”
Dutch Hollow Dulcet and Pear Balsamic Confection
"The Diva Pairing"
As soon as you taste the Pear Balsamic Confection (available seasonally at Theo’s Flagship store), you’ll experience a burst of flavors. The milk chocolate ganache steeped in balsamic, topped with pear pate de fruit introduces a texture completely different than any other. As the Dulcet coats your mouth, the balsamic enhances the butterfat perfectly. Gilbert likened this pairing to chocolate-covered cherries or a triple-decker ice cream sundae. There’s a lot happening in a short amount of time, but these two are excellent together. This seasonal confection is available at Theo Chocolate for a limited time, so you’ll definitely want to add this to your pairing list this holiday season.
Flagship Reserve with Ghost Chili Caramels
"Cheese & Chocolate Boxing Match"
The Flagship Reserve and Dark Chocolate Ghost Chili Caramels battle for the spotlight on your tastebuds. You’ll experience an exciting back-and-forth pull from each bite of deliciousness. In the end, the ghost peppers win out after a slow burn, but the butteriness from the cheese evens out the spice in a multi-layered dimensional way. Lindstrom says, “Just as the ghost pepper creeps in, the cheese helps melt that heat and brings out the caramel flavor.”
You don’t need to live in the Pacific Northwest to procure your own tasting. With Beecher's Cheese and Theo’s online stores, it’s simple to recreate each pairing and impress your friends with your newfound knowledge. Choose one of our curated cheese and chocolate collections online, or you might even be inspired to create pairings of your own. And for Seattle visitors and locals, be sure to check out Theo’s monthly cheese and chocolate classes for a deeper dive into the wonderful world of chocolate and cheese.