Nutty: the one that adds some crunch

Nutty: the one that adds some crunch

What this is: Understanding the role of being a little nutty.

Who it’s for: Foodies who love a mix of texture on their board.

THE NUTTY FLAVOR PROFILE 

Nuts and nibbles offer something other flavor profiles can’t—crunch! They also play with cheese nicely because they pair with a flavor often found in cheese: nuttiness! Aged firm and hard cheese can get a toasty and nutty flavor and pairing them with nuts and nutty tasting pairings makes them really sing. 

THIS CATEGORY INCLUDES

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Pine nuts
  • Toasted and fried beans and corn
  • Nut and seeded crackers
  • Nut and seed butters

CHEESES IT PAIRS WITH

WINES IT PAIRS WITH

  • Sparkling
  • Sweet White
  • Dry White
  • Rich White
  • Rosé
  • Light Red
  • Medium Red
  • Dessert 

FAVORITE MIXED FLAVOR PROFILE PAIRINGS

  • Nutty + Sweet → Flavored nut butters
  • Nutty + Spicy → Spicy nuts
  • Nutty + Umami + Salt → Seeded rosemary crackers

FAVORITE NUTTY PAIRING COMBOS

  • Mini chèvre cheese balls rolled in crushed nuts
  • Peanut butter fudge + triple cream brie
  • Candied walnuts + cherry jam on goat milk cheddar

UNEXPECTED NUTTY PAIRING COMBOS

  • Butterfingers candy bars (fun size) + aged cheddar
  • Peanut brittle + aged gouda
  • Sweet pepita seeds + Stilton

ON A CHEESE BOARD

“Don’t forget the nuts!” was not a famous rallying cry anywhere, but it should have been. We’re sure we could have found world peace by now if it had. To start with, there are just so many types of nuts to include, and then you can flavor them sweet, spicy, umami, salty, and even sour (we love dill pickle peanuts!) You can make them into butters and fudge and if you can’t eat nuts, (or even if you can), seeds, and crackers with seeds bring a fantastic warm nuttiness to your cheese board. 

SUMMARY

Go nuts on your next cheese board. You have more options than you could ever eat in a year. Push yourself to try new and interesting pairings to surprise and satisfy your guests.

Homework

Make Pepita Clusters. Ratio is 1 part sugar to 4 parts raw pepitas + Salt and seasoning to taste.

  1. Toast the pepitas until brown and fragrant, and remove from pan.
  2. Cook the sugar in the pan without stirring until amber. Turn off the heat.
  3. Stir in the toasted pepitas, salt and any other seasonings (try everything seasoning, seasoning mixes, curry, etc.). Mix thoroughly and then pour and spread out on parchment to cool.
  4. Break candied pepitas into clusters and serve on your next cheese board.

Downloads

Click the icons to download a pdf of this lesson and our two handy guides: How Cheese is Made and Cheese and Pairing Types.

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