|Tomme Blanche, Brie Paysan, Kaskaval by MOs810|
Wearing her white chef’s uniform, Gold discussed how to balance flavor, texture and feel when pairing teas and cheeses. Gold recommended pairing an astringent tea with a soft rich fatty cheese. The astringent tea essentially cleanses the palate so that the taster's next bite of the cheese can be fully experienced. With a sip of astringent tea, balance is returned to a person's palate after eating a cheese that contains a good amount of fat.
In class, we tried a first flush Darjeeling with a brie cheese. Brie cheese is known for its fatty creaminess and First Flush Darjeeling is known for its astringency. Normally my brie quota is a couple of bites before I find I can’t go on due to the richness. But sipping the First Flush Darjeeling in between bites of the brie made me feel like I could eat brie all day. Gold also recommended pairing a gunpowder green tea (another astringent tea) with brie cheese.
Matching subtle flavors, explained Gold, is another good way to pair teas and cheeses. By matching the subtle flavors, the taste of that subtle flavor becomes more pronounced in both the tea and cheese. The class experimented in matching the delicate tastes of nuts. The class tried a Dragon Well green tea with a gruyere cheese. Both are known for having a hint of nuts. This was my favorite of the sample pairings. Gold identified other teas with hints of nuttiness such as a Keemun, Ceylon or Autumnal Darjeeling. I’m now excited about pairing these teas at home with a slightly nutty cheese.