If there is cheese, there is wine, and of course the third essential element, the bread. Today, there are many sorts of bread. There is the Baguette, bread ‘de campagne’ (rustic, country style) and also artisan sourdough bread, which all go perfectly with cheese. To vary the tastes, try a rye bread, a bread with nuts or cumin (for washed rind cheeses) bread with raisins (strong cheeses) or a cereal bread (for fresh cheeses).
Here are the best cheese and bread combinations:
• Crackers- Cheddar or Gouda
• Flute (French stick)- Comté, Gruyère
• Fougasse- Fresh goat’s cheese
• Gressin (egg bread) and longuet (long French stick)- Flavoured cheeses, Bel Paese, Provolone
• Cumin bread- Munster, Epoisses, Langres
• Bread with bacon bits- Murol, Cantal
• Whole wheat bread- Maroilles, Pont l'Evêque, St Nectaire, Reblochon
• Gingerbread- Roquefort, Stilton
• Polka bread- Fourmes and Blues
• Viennois bread (sweet flavoured bread)- St Marcellin, St Félicien
Depending on the region, butter is eaten with the cheese to mellow the taste of the cheese. This can be delicious, but no so good for the diet!
Spices and condiments
Some people like to bring out the flavour of the cheese by serving it with mustard (for hard cheeses) cumin or caraway seeds (Munster) or pickles, gherkins etc. Other delicious combinations include chives, shallots and garlic (fresh goat’s cheese) small white onions (Roquefort and camembert) and crushed walnuts (Cheshire).
Don’t hesitate to try different combinations, using your imagination and natural, regional produce you can find delicious combinations to serve with your cheese platter:
- A Basque ewe’s milk cheese (Ossau-Iraty) and black cherry jam, quince jelly or Espelette chilli chutney.
- A ewe’s milk Tomme with strawberries
- An unctuous Roquefort with fresh figs
- A Fourme d'Ambert and pear
- A Camembert and green tomato chutney
- A Brindamour with fresh figs and red Banyuls
- A piquant Gorgonzola with fig jam
- A Géromé with lemon infused pears
- A Morbier with blueberries and redcurrants
- A brousse provençale and spicy tapenade
- And any other combination you like…