Cheese trends brought to you by experts

Cheese trends brought to you by experts

Cheese experts lift the lid on the latest cheese trends.

Antonio El Khoury
Director of culinary programs – MENA of the U.S. Dairy Export Council

Trends to watch
The Covid-19 pandemic affected consumer behavior toward food in general. With regard to cheese, we witnessed more demand for natural, artisan and innovative cheeses, as well as:
– Fresh and stretchy cheeses: cream cheese, burrata, feta, halloumi and mozzarella
– Aged cheeses: cheddar, gouda, Swiss, parmesan and blue cheese
– Flavored cheeses: pepper Jack, flavored cheddar and smoked cheeses

Five tips for cheese pairing
1. Choose a complementary pairing — combining two ingredients with the same basic taste — or a contrasting pairing —combining two to five basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami.
2. The intensity of the cheese and the pairing ingredients should be taken into consideration. None should overpower the other.
3. Be creative; any ingredient can be used in pairing, such as nuts, bread, sweets, nibbles, vegetables, fruits, cold cuts, hot and cold beverages.
4. The order of the ingredients matters. Take the time to try the pairing before you serve.
5. Choose a theme for your cheese pairing: romantic, welcome drink, game night or picnic, for example.

The role of a cheesemonger
The role of a cheesemonger The cheesemonger is the cheese ambassador. They should have vast knowledge of the cheese, including all of its properties and the story behind the cheese, to be able to help the consumer and offer the right cheese for their specific need.

François Robin
Fromager / Cheesemonger
One of the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France 2011

Popular cheeses
Lately, people are really into feel-good cheeses, like French raclette or fondue, anything that is warm and melts in the mouth.
Another trend is flavored cheeses, such as truffled brie or Brillat-Savarin (a double cream cheese), in other words, truffle paradise on Earth!

Five tips for optimal cheese pairing
1 – Introduce some crunchiness with roasted almonds, pistachios or hazelnuts.
2 – Fresh fruits like figs, pears, blueberries and apples are great to enhance the taste.
3 – Dates are great to pair, especially with blue cheeses.
4 – Flavored crackers are not only good to put the cheese on but also to bring their own taste.
5 – Beverages like fruit juices, some teas and even coffees are worth considering.

The role of a cheesemonger
A cheesemonger is like any specialist who is not making the product but knows it perfectly and can evaluate its quality in a blink. Any food professional can rely on a cheesemonger to get the best ratio in terms of quality/price according to seasons and availability in production.

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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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