How to Pair Cheese Like an Expert

Here are some ways to pair cheese with a variety of delicious ingredients.

Expertly pair cheese with unexpected and delicious ingredients that will delight your guests or your next date. Even if you don’t consider yourself a foodie or a culinary genius, pairing cheese with other foods is an easy way to impress your guests without turning on the stove.  Here are our top favorites.

Asadero & Clementines
Asadero is a Mexican cheese that can be found in most major markets. The soft, creamy texture works perfectly with the sweet, citrus punch of a fresh clementine.

Havarti & Pears
Havarti is a semi-sweet Danish cow’s milk cheese that’s smooth texture works nicely with the sweet crunch of a fresh pair. Perfect sliced or grilled together for a delicious grilled sandwich.

Gouda & Spicy Nuts
Gouda is a yellow, Dutch cheese with a smooth caramel sweetness, which works wonderfully with spiced nuts.

Camembert & Cantaloupe
Camembert is a French cheese that boasts a very creamy, smooth texture. The rich flavor of the Camembert compliments the sweet, juicy cantaloupe.

Ricotta & Honey
Ricotta is an Italian soft cheese that is widely used with sweets. Pair it with your favorite honey and serve on toast points or crackers for a sweet, creamy treat.

Parmesan & Prosciutto
Parmesan is an Italian hard cheese that can be paired with virtually any food. The saltiness of the Parmesan paired with the smooth, rich flavor of the prosciutto makes an excellent combination.

Brie & Green Apples
Brie is a soft, creamy French cheese that works wonderfully with tart, fresh green apples. Try paired slices or melt the two together for a delicious appetizer.

Cherries & Cheddar
Cheddar originated in England and this rather hard, sharp-tasting food works wonderfully with summer’s fresh cherries.

Mascarpone & Strawberries
Mascarpone is a very soft, Italian cheese that is frequently used in desserts. Serve as a dip for fresh strawberries for a treat that’s both smooth and tart.

Fontina & Dark Chocolate
Fontina is an Italian cheese that has a nutty, rich, and fruity flavor making it pair well with dark chocolate. Serve together sliced or melted over a graham cracker for a grown-up S’more.

Sources: Gourmet Sleuth, Wisconsin Cheese,

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest