Cheese and Cider Pairing
Cider has been made in the UK for over 2000 years, long before the Romans came to Britain, and has taken many different forms. Some of those forms have given cider a bad name in the UK. However there has been a new wave of cider makers taking the country by storm.
Cheese and cider is the new modern pairing
Taking techniques and ideas from the natural wine world, these makers are creating cider that is miles apart from anything we know, and can stand proud next to any fine wine on a wine list.
These ciders explore so many different styles, textures and flavours and have a huge range of apple varieties to use.
There are thousands of apples grown ranging from your classic cider apples that are chewy, leathery and very tannic, all the way through to your sharp, acid driven and juicy culinary apples.
With all of these different varieties to use and explore there are so many distinct pairing opportunities.
The structure of cider is a lot like wine, made up of tannins, acid and sugar and there are thousands of varieties of apples that have different levels of this. These elements can be used to make so many unique ciders and partnered in a pairing to beautifully marry with a cheeses flavour and texture.
A wonderful example of this is a tannic rich, full bodied cider that can be mellowed out and rounded off with a hard, protein rich sheep's milk cheese, allowing elements of toffee and leather to shine that are normally overshadowed by the tannins in the cider. Or a lemony, fresh goat cheese and an acid driven, sharp cider can be brought together to elevate all of those acidic qualities of the cheese and round off the prickly edges of the sharp cider, all cleaning the palate ready for the next bite.
Cheese and cider makers have been working hand in hand for centuries to create well rounded pairings but it has always been kept a secret. It's now something that the public needs to enjoy. Going off the old saying of “what grows together goes together”, cheese and cider paired together could be the true British terroir we have been waiting for.
This article was provided by Joshua Page, senior cheesemonger at La Fromagerie.