How To Choose The Best Apple To Pair With Your Cheese Board

A lot goes into crafting an Instagram-worthy cheese board — picking the best cheeses for your cheese board, figuring out complementary pairings, even choosing the right dish to serve it all on. Fortunately, experts have taken the complementary pairings out of your hands with a few handy dandy guidelines.

According to Chad Galer, a vice-president at Dairy Management, U.S. Dairy contributor, and international cheese judge, choosing the best cheese-and-apple pairings for your board boils down to balance. In an interview with Mashed, he explained that "the saltiness in cheese enhances the sweetness of the apples."

This bit of culinary science ties back to how our taste receptors detect sweetness. Introducing salt, such as through eating cheese, actually helps our nerves fire more rapidly, meaning our taste receptors can detect the sweetness of apples more quickly and more intensely. So, could the perfect cheese board really be as simple as playing off how salty and sweet go well together?

Ideas for pairing your cheeses with apples

As previously mentioned, salt and enjoying sweetness go hand in hand. This basic rule will help you put together the best cheese-and-apple board you could possibly imagine. So, let's get into some examples, shall we?

If you were thinking of including cheddar or brie on your cheese board, both of which are very salty, expert Chad Galer recommends pairing them with apples that are sweeter. Fuji and gala, for example, are both very sweet types of apples, so they can tame the saltiness of the cheese while also having their own flavors enhanced.

On the other hand, if you wanted to include cheeses that are more savory, like aged gouda or parmesan, you should choose apples that are more tart. Because these cheeses can get a little heavy on the palette, pairing them with tart apples like Granny Smith or Pink Lady lightens and balances the flavors. We can't wait to give these tips a try.