There are hundreds of words that can be used to describe flavours in food, but it’s remarkable how often ‘nutty’ springs to mind when tasting a delicious wedge of cheese, and for good reason. Notes of hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds and walnuts are often found in aged cheeses from cheddar to Alpine styles, and even in some blues, ewe and goat’s milk cheeses. It’s why nuts are often such a great accompaniment for cheese.
Likewise, the Peter’s Yard Seeded Wholegrain Sourdough Crackers have an inherent nuttiness that makes them a versatile partner for various styles of cheese. Made with rye and wholemeal flour, combined with 16-hour fermented sourdough, the crackers are packed with sunflower seeds, buckwheat, oat groats and poppy seeds, which bring toasty, roasted and, yes, nutty flavours to the cheeseboard.
“they bring toasty, roasted and, yes, nutty flavours to the cheeseboard”
They work particularly well with Le Gruyère – the mighty mountain cheese from Switzerland, which is famous for its complex fruity, umami and hazelnut flavours. Younger Classic cheeses, aged for under 10 months, have a sweet flavour and supple texture, while the longer matured Réserve is firmer and more intense. Both are good with the seedy crunch of the crackers, plus a shard of hazelnut brittle and a glass of funky Belgian ale.
Cloth-bound cheeses also make for a good match, especially traditional cheddars, such as Montgomery’s, Westcombe and Quicke’s, as well as Appleby’s Cheshire and Kirkham’s Lancashire. These often have a savoury tang, but also earthy notes near the rind, which pair nicely with the rustic crackers. The crunch of pickled onions and tannins of cider add a cutting edge to this wholesome combination.
It’s a similar story for the craggy rind of Mimolette, which imbues the sunset-coloured cheese beneath with hints of the damp cellars of Northern France where they are matured. Serve with fig jam and a tot of bourbon, with the seeded crackers on the side, for a grown up snack that is full of candied, smokey flavours.
Sweet as a nut.