Forget finger sandwiches—the best thing to have with your cup of tea is a hunk of cheese! I had heard of pairing coffee with cheese (ever since Artisanal teamed up with Starbucks to bring you mini cheese platters with your Mochaccino) so I guess it should have occurred to me that tea and cheese would go equally well together. But it didn’t cross my mind until Waldemar and I met a lovely lady, Dolores Snyder, at an event we did at Telepan.
Dolores is a tea authority and no doubt she rules the tea circuit in her hometown of Dallas, Texas. But she also happens to be a cheese lover and a collector of Victorian cheese keepers (which is just about the coolest collection I have ever heard of). Dolores teaches about tea all around the country, and is a big fan of pairing it with cheese. But I was so enamored with the vision of these Victorian cheese keepers that I forgot to ask Dolores what her favorite cheese and tea pairing was.
So, here are my thoughts instead: If you sweeten your tea, you would do well to nibble on a saltier cheese, like aged cheddar. Herbal teas are probably fabulous with fresh goat’s milk cheeses, and Earl Grey is probably fabulous with everything. If you were drinking a very tannic black tea, I would avoid very lactic cheeses like a triple-crème. And any mint or peppermint tea is probably pretty gross with cheese, unless the mint component is a background flavor.
Dolores, if you are reading this, please post advice for us cheese and tea novices!