The combination seems almost obvious now, but even after all these years working with cheese, I only came upon this last week. I've already started proselytizing about the merits of this duo, making a convert of a close friend. She served it to raving guests at her own dinner party over the weekend.
When it comes to this quick and elegant way to serve blue cheese, it's pretty easy to become a believer. Blue cheese and blackberries. It's that simple.
Blackberries play close contender as my favorite fruit, and so it's odd that I've never thought to pair them with cheese. Maybe they fall in that odd no man's land in the world of fruits that don't typically go on cheese plates, like stone fruits, citrus, berries, and fruit in the melon family. Time to bend those rules.
Blackberries are sweet in that savory, jammy kind of way, with a slight tartness. It's their richness that matches cheese's intensity, and their brightness that can cut through the fattiness in cheese. When you look at it this way, blackberries seem quite the natural partner for cheese, nearly akin to grapes. They match so well with blues both in terms of flavor and aesthetics. There's something striking about serving them together.
Serve blackberries with a strong, spicy roquefort, or even gorgonzola cremificato, a triple creme blue. I've tried them both, just to get a sense of whether blues on either end of the strong spectrum work, and they do. Quite well, in fact.
Make your black and blue stand out, and skip extraneous embellishments. Some sliced fruit and nut toasts won't hurt, as wouldn't a bit of honey or fig jam. But with this appetizer—which stands in just as easily as dessert—don't serve other cheeses. Alongside some black, a blue can surely stand alone.
Nora Singley used to be a cheesemonger and the Director of Education at Murray's Cheese Shop in New York City, where she continues to teach cheese classes for the public. She is currently a TV Chef on The Martha Stewart Show.
Related: The Cheesemonger: Why is Blue Cheese Blue
(Image: Nora Singley)