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With junk food charcuterie boards and dip parties on the rise, we can all agree that we’re living in the age of elevated snacking. Gone are the days of sit-down dinners and four-course meals. Right now, it’s all about gathering groups of friends for long sessions of extreme nibbling. And, as purveyors of some of the finest snacking chocolate around, we could not be more excited about it.
Our guess for the next hottest snacking trend? Chocolate and cheese. You’ve heard of chocolate and wine, of course, and this approach is similar. It’s all about pairing similar flavors or creating unique combinations that draw out the distinct, complex notes of each. As two of the world’s favorite food items, it only makes sense to put these two palate-pleasers on the same plate. While our passion is plant based chocolates, we realize that many people enjoy the delectable combination of chocolate and cheese, so we couldn't resist sharing these pairings. And while you’re at it, go ahead and add some wine if that’s your thing!
1. Goat Cheese + Dark Chocolate — Goat cheese is a soft, creamy and sweet variety of cheese, so it will help draw out the complexity and sweetness of your favorite dark chocolate bars. These two go beautifully together, which is why they’re often paired to make mouthwatering truffles. Be sure to throw some berries or grapes on the board to add an extra layer of sweetness and color.
2. Manchego + Fruity Chocolate — Manchego is a semi-hard Spanish cheese that boasts a sweet flavor with notes of fruit and nuts. That’s why it’s so great for pairing with fruity chocolate, such as our Born Fruity. A refreshing, inviting flavor combo on a warm summer day, this duo is a must-try.
3. Brie + Milk Chocolate — Brie is a buttery, creamy cheese with an earthy, subtly fruity flavor profile that allows it to complement a wide range of foods. It’s considered quite the versatile cheese and is often piled high with fresh fruits, jam or honey to draw out the sweetness. That means it goes well with sweeter chocolates with a lower cacao percentage, such as milk chocolate.
4. Parmesan-Reggiano + Nutty Chocolate — Sharp and complex yet delightfully fruity and nutty, parmesan-Reggiano isn’t just for grating over your favorite pasta. This stuff also makes an incredible snacking accoutrement when sliced thin. Pair it with a nutty chocolate, such as our Aww Nuts!, to draw out the nutty flavor of the cheese and to highlight the hidden complexities.
5. Cheddar + Sea Salt Chocolate — Cheddar brings forth a sharp, earthy, smooth flavor to the table, which is why it’s one of our favorites on the charcuterie board. We recommend pairing it with a dark chocolate with flecks of sea salt to help draw out the subtleties in the cheese. If you really want to get serious about combining these two faves, consider the concept of the grilled cheese and chocolate sandwich. Seriously, don’t knock it ‘til you try it!
6. Blue Cheese + Ultra Dark Chocolate — Blue cheese is creamy, tangy and a little bit funky. We know this one seems a bit odd, but just trust us. The cheese’s bold, sharp flavor is perfectly balanced by the bitter creaminess of a good dark chocolate. We recommend going ultra-dark here with a 75 percent or higher cacao chocolate bar to complement the cheese’s deep, tangy flavor.
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Our best piece of advice when pairing chocolate with any other food is to experiment and try new things. Start with one of our chocolate gift boxes or bundles and go crazy in the cheese aisle of your favorite gourmet grocer. Taste, test and figure out what pairings work the best for you! And make sure to let us know what you find out.
How long does chocolate last? Not very when it’s placed on a snacking board next to some fine cheeses. Seriously, though, make sure to keep your cheese and chocolate in a fairly cool environment so you don’t risk turning your gorgeous snack plate into a cheesy, chocolatey stew. Happy snacking!