Below we have a selection of pairings for cheese and Gustare honey, as advised by top chef James Graham from Cowley Manor in the Cotswolds.
The video below shows James attracting a lot of attention at our recent show stand at Natural Organic Products in ExCel London, where he helped demonstrate how wonderfully our unique honey combines with a selection of lovely powerful cheeses.
DELICATE – YELLOW BOX HONEY
AROMA: Sweet with notes of soft caramel, fresh hazelnut and cinnamon.
FLAVOUR: The flavour profile is definitively honey but with real complexity without being overpowering, there is a mineral note combined with light butterscotch and cinnamon. The flavour is long on the palate and exceptional with a wide variety of cheese. Despite its delicacy, it has enough depth to work well with some surprisingly strongly flavoured cheeses and indeed the counterpoint of this delicate flavour with the flavour of powerful cheeses enhances both.
- Washed rind cheese e.g. Stinking Bishop, Epoisse, Ardrahan, Gubbeen, Ami Du Chambertain.
- Mature aged cheddar such as Westcombe, Montgomery, Isle of Mull or Ford Farm
MILD – GREY IRON BARK
AROMA : The aroma is very clean with delicate notes of beeswax and fresh butter FLAVOUR: A delicate mix of floral notes with a nut and toffee butter fudge finish.
FLAVOUR: A delicate mix of floral notes with a nut and toffee butter fudge finish. Unusually it works exceptionally with cheeses made from goats milk almost irrespective of the cheese style. It is very good with many other kinds of cheese as well, in fact, it is probably the best all-rounder of the 4 but with goats cheese its sweet lactic note really lets the cheese shine whilst also smoothing out some of the more acidic and farmyard overtones often associated with goats cheese.
- Golden Cross, Pennard Ridge Red, Cerney, Tiklemore, Katherine, Tymsboro, Cathare, Cherwell
- Any goats milk gouda-style cheese
- Subtle flavoured soft cheeses also work very well such as English Brie style cheese
RICH – STRINGY BARK
AROMA: Amazingly complex with a definite note of coffee alongside nutmeg and wood smoke
FLAVOUR: Another significant step on in terms of the depth of the flavour profile, this is an amazingly well rounded and mouth filling flavour with a wonderful coffee and spice finish. This has the length and structure to really pair wonderfully with the salty sharp note associated with sheep’s milk cheeses and blue cheese with which it is singularly spectacular.
- Hard sheep’s milk cheese such as Pecorino, Berkswell, Manchego, Spenwood, Lord of the Hundreds
- Soft sheep’s milk cheese such as, brin d’amour, little ryding, flower marie
- Almost any blue cheese but especially Beenleigh blue, Roquefort, and Dorset Blue Vinny
STRONG – AUSTRALIAN APPLE TREE
AROMA: Incredible depth with complex notes of caramel, soy sauce, and bay.
FLAVOUR: Robust and complex with upfront notes of toffee apple and black pepper along with a silky finish. Initially felt this would pair best with the blue cheeses but surprisingly for a honey delivering such a huge flavour profile, it actually worked best with some of the less assertive cheeses and is wonderful with a large selection of mould ripened cheese and also very fresh cheeses.
- Camembert-style cheeses such as Tunworth, Cotswold White
- Soft mould ripened cheese such as Bath Soft, Sharpham, Elmhurst
- Very fresh cheese like Cerney Starter or Cheese Curds.