(NAPSI)-Get-togethers large and small can be enhanced in a delicious way when you serve cheese and pears together as an appetizer, dessert or side dish. Pears and cheese have a natural affinity, as the flavor, aroma and characteristics of each enhance the other.
To make a successful match, the secret is to understand the "personality" of your pear. Each pear variety has its own distinct flavor and texture, so you should begin by picking the pears you want to spotlight. Use these suggestions or create your own delectable combinations and let your taste buds be your guide.
• The green Anjou pear is refreshingly sweet and juicy with a hint of citrus. Try it with a soft, mild goat cheese or Brie that won't overpower the mild Anjou flavor.
• Bartlett is a very juicy pear that is exceptionally aromatic with a smooth texture. Try Bartlett pears with a rich mascarpone cheese or with Gouda.
• Partner earthy and honey-sweet Bosc pear slices with aged white cheddar that has a bold, nutty flavor and a pleasant, grainy texture. The spicy-sweet Bosc pear flavor contrasts nicely with the cheese's tangy finish.
• Wow your guests with juicy Comice pears and a strong blue cheese like Stilton. Comice is a sweet dessert pear with a custard-like texture that contrasts nicely with a salty, slightly grainy cheese like Stilton.
• Forelle pears are small with a mild, sweet flavor and a crisp texture even when fully ripe. Port Salut is a semisoft cheese with mild, nutty flavor and a creamy texture--a perfect complement to the pear's juicy flavor and crisp texture.
• Red pears are a thing of beauty, especially when paired with buttery Brie. Red Bartlett is a variety with floral aromas and a supple sweetness and works well with Brie's creamy texture and slightly nutty flavor.
• Fontina cheese paired with bite-size Seckel pears makes for pleasing flavors on the palate. Seckel is a very sweet and juicy pear when ripe. Fontina is a semi-soft cheese with a slightly pungent aroma and a creamy texture.
Find more pairings, recipes and information, including how to tell when a pear is ripe, at www.usapears.org.
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