Welcome back to Part 2 of Tea & Cheese! Here today is another set of pairings to keep in mind for your next fancy food get together. Similar to the pairings from Part 1, there are a wide spectrum of flavors and textures represented. Each of these ingredients are tasty on their own, but that much more amazing when enjoyed together.If you haven’t tried some of these cheeses before they may seem rare, but all can be found at your local Trader Joe’s. In addition to the tasting tips I mentioned yesterday, you might also want to have at least a few cheeses to try during a tasting session. This will help you gain a full appreciation for how one tea can taste very different depending on which cheese it is paired with.
1. Roquefort & Lapsang Souchong
Lapsang Souchong can sometimes be overwhelmingly smokey to the point of brash, which is why it’s so great for cooking. With its tangy, salty finish, this sheep’s milk blue cheese is equally assertive. Together, this pairing is robust and sophisticated, and not for the faint of heart.
2. Manchego & Oriental Beauty
This Spanish sheep’s milk cheese is nutty, mild, and sweet with just a bit of tang. Also known as Bai Hao Oolong, Oriental Beauty’s fruity, sweet notes help to draw out the nutty flavors of the Manchego. This oolong has a greater percentage of oxidation, which gives it its characteristic mellow and honey-like taste.
3. Mini Basque & Genmaicha Matcha
Mini Basque, also known as P’tit Basque, is a sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrénées that has a funky smell but mild taste. I like how the Genmaicha Matcha brings out the smooth and nutty flavors while balancing the cheese’s oily texture and earthy aroma.
4. Brie & HoujichaThis is a delicious play on sweet and salty flavors. Here, it’s a good idea to also eat a bit of the rind from the Brie. Each creamy, salty bite, finished with the honey-like sweetness of the roasted green tea makes for a melody of flavors.
5. Mozzarella & White PeonyBoth mild and delicately sweet, mozzarella and white peony make one gentle and refined pairing. This soft, milky cheese does a wonderful job of highlighting all of the best flavors in this highest-quality white tea. If you do decide to indulge in a series of tea & cheese pairings, make sure to start with this one, beginning with milder pairings and progressing to more robust ones.
Happy tea & cheese tasting and thanks for following along on this adventurous 2 Part Series!