Peanut Brittle with Cheese: A Crazy Yet Fun Pairing for Your Cheese Board

The Cheesemonger

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Pairing peanut brittle with cheese seems obvious with a bit of analyzation. It's sweet, nutty, salty, caramelized, and addictive: all adjectives used so frequently for cheese. If you're into switching up the things you eat alongside your cheese wedges, consider some chards of peanut brittle. But which cheeses match it best?

Think of cheeses with similar attributes. Go for hard cheeses that can stand up texturally to the brittle. And then think of flavor. Pick cheeses that have some heft, like parmigiano reggiano, cave aged gruyere, or a well-aged comte. These are the nutty numbers, whose sweetness will only be elevated alongside that brown sugary richness of a brittle.

Other cheeses to try: manchego, ossau iraty or another sheep milk cheese from the pyrenees, or even mahon, the slightly smokey spanish sheep. These rich sheep milk cheeses— proportionately higher in fat content than cow or goat milk cheeses— offer enough body to match a brittle's intensity.

If you can find it, switch up the nuts. Hazelnut, pecan, or a mixed nut brittle would be pretty tremendous, as would be one that's laden with sesame seeds. Try these with an aged cheddar or fontina, for a pairing that highlights the contrast between an earthy hunk of cheese and a sweet with an in-your-face caramelized crunch.

And if you're a cheese for dessert lover? This pairing seems the ultimate no-brainer.

(Image: Nora Singley)

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Main, Advice, Cheese, The Cheesemonger

Nora Singley used to be a cheesemonger and the Director of Education at Murray's Cheese Shop. Until recently she was a TV Chef on The Martha Stewart Show. She is currently a freelance food stylist and recipe developer in New York.

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