Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cider and Cheese Pairings

Cidre Bouche Brut Organic, Etienne Dupont and Le Chatelain Camembert.  Photos taken from the Astor Wines and Murray's Cheese
This past August my friends and I took a class at Murray's Cheese called Power Trio: Beer, Cider, and Cheese.  I am finally getting around to posting about it (after shuffling through a stack of papers I remembered I took this class), and I thought there really isn't a better time to have cider than now that it is finally feeling like fall around here.  So I am just going to highlight my three favorite pairings.  You can get the ciders at Astor Wines and the cheese at Murray's Cheese, but I am sure there are other places you can find both.

The first power pairing is Cidre Bouche Brut Organic, Etienne Dupont 2009  and Le Chatelain Camembert (photo above).  This is definitely my favorite pairing.  The Cidre Bouche Brut is crisp and refreshing, pretty sweet, but is cut with the fizziness of the cider.  The Le Chatelain Camembert has a great sauteed mushroom taste, that is also meaty, creamy, and buttery.  Both the cider and cheese are from the Normandy region of France, and when paired they mellow each other out.

Sarasola Sagardoa Basque Cider and Idiazabal.  Photos taken from Astor Wines and Murray's Cheese.
For the second pairing, Murray's Cheese selected Sarasola Sagardoa Basque Cider and Idiazabal (I know these names are crazy), both from the Basque region of Spain.  The Sarasola Sagardoa Basque Cider is the perfect summer beverage, and is very tart and apple-ly so I think it still works in the fall.  The Idiazabal is a harder cheese that is a little smokey and a little nutty, and paired with the cider it creates an even more apple-ly pairing.  Oh, and did you know that Spain is the number one cider-making country in the world?  I didn't!
Farnum Hill Semi-Dry Sparkling Apple Cider and Cabot Clothbound Cheddar. Photos from Astor Wines and Murray's Cheese.
For the third and final pairing, Murray's put together Farnum Hill Semi-Dry Sparkling Apple Cider and Cabot Clothbound Cheddar.  The Farnum Hill cider is nicely balanced, a little bit tart and bubbly, and is great on its own.  Then you have the Cabot cheddar, a cheese that seriously any American would like.  It is a buttery, nutty-sweet cheese with a sharpness to it, and the texture is craggly (in the best way possible).  You basically can't stop eating it!  Put these two together and you are eating an apple pie with cheddar crust (something like this).

Anyways, these were just my favorites, but I would totally recommend taking a class at Murray's Cheese and learning for yourself, because there is no way I can talk about cheese the way they can.  It is always best to learn from the most passionate people!

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