Grapes with your Cheese?
Grapes are probably the most common fruit that are served on a cheese board. They can look beautiful, fill up a space, they’re easy to break off and eat, and all of us have almost certainly eaten cheese and grapes together and enjoyed the experience. So why do some cheese mongers and fromagers advise against eating cheese and grapes together?
Tannins are naturally occurring, astringent compounds found in grape skins, seeds, and stems.
Tannins are usually associated with wine can play a role in whether or not a particular cheese and wine pair well together. Tannins are also in the skins of regular table grapes and can affect the flavour of the cheese you are eating.
Sometimes grapes can make cheese taste bitter. This usually happens when grapes are paired with a washed rind or bloomy rind cheese. It happens less often when grapes are paired with hard cheeses.
Grapes might not make the cheese taste bad, but they might not enhance the flavour of the cheese either. Other fruits such as figs, dates, apples, melons, and pears are very good choices when pairing fruit and cheese.
The safest bet is to pair cheese with dried fruit. Dried fruit is often sweeter than fresh fruit, and you don’t have to worry about dried fruit being ripe and in season. Dried figs, dates, cherries and apricots pair really well with cheese.
Fruit spreads also pair really well with cheese, quince paste, fig jam, and peach or apricot preserves to pair with cheese. The sweetness of fruit and saltiness of cheese are the main reason they pair well together.