Savor the Experience When You Pair Pecans with These Six Cheeses

Written by D'Anne Hotchkiss

May 9, 2023

Savor the Experience When You Pair Pecans with These Six Cheeses

When you pair pecans and cheese, you coax out new and unimagined flavors that will delight your tastebuds. Simply add savory roasted pecans to your charcuterie board or place bowls of different seasoned pecans next to a platter of assorted cheeses.

Think of it as a great culinary adventure. Invite your friends to experiment with varied combinations to find their own perfect pairing. Then compare notes.

The best part is that there is no right or wrong answer beyond one: if the flavor combination appeals to you, then it’s good.


Three Pairing Tips

Here’s three tips to get you started pairing nuts and cheeses:

  • Contrast Flavors: Pair sweet with salty or spicy with spicy. Not only will you discover new flavors that emerge through the combinations, you’ll engage multiple senses for greater enjoyment.
  • Contrast Textures: Pairing pecans with cheese works well because crunchy nuts make a great contrast to creamy cheeses, while softer nuts make a great contrast to hard cheeses. Pecans are crunchy, but not nearly as hard as almonds, nor nearly as soft as cashews. So you can pair them with either soft or hard cheeses and the pecans will provide the opposite texture.
  • Combine Similar Flavors: Yes, this contradicts the first tip that opposites attract. Pair roasted pecans with smoked cheeses like smoked gouda, Or, with nutty flavored cheeses such as firmer, longer-aged sheep cheese such as Manchego, or soft feta. Or cow milk cheeses such as ricotta. brie, and gruyère.


Pair These Pecans and Cheeses 

Successful pairings do not depend upon expensive cheeses. Start with your favorite readily available cheeses such as these six.

Blue Cheese: a semi-soft, creamy, and pungent cheese known for its blue-green veins. Whether you choose the more familiar Roquefort, Gorgonzola or stilton, or the less common cabrales, Danablu (also known as Danish blue), or cambozola, these cheeses pair well with a sweeter seasoned pecan such as Agave Ginger for contrast, and We’re Kickin’ It for matching two strong flavors

Brie: popular American brie styles tend to be buttery, so consider pairing it with Butter and Sea Salt to combine two similar flavors with different textures.

Cheddar: this most popular American cheese pairs with Memphis BBQ for a savory contrast in flavor and in texture.

Goat: select one of the herbed goat cheeses and pair with Rosemary Black Pepper for complementary flavors.

Gouda: when young, gouda is mildly sweet and buttery. As it ages, it becomes nutty and caramelized. My favorite is smoke-cured gouda with its smoky flavor and hints of bacon. Pair it with Bacon Maple for a sweet and bacony blend that makes you want more, or Agave Ginger or Chili Sweet for a distinct contrast of flavors and textures.

Mozzarella: more properly called Mozzarella di bufala campana, from the Campania region of Italy, this cheese lends itself to pairing with other Italian flavors such as our Parmesan Garlic Butter.

For a longer list of pairings that includes specialty cheeses, take a look at this infographic. 


Additional Serving Suggestions

You can add pecans to any dish for fresh, new taste. Add pecans to an otherwise traditional ploughman’s lunch, and incorporate them with a salad, especially one that includes creamy goat cheese and pears, or shaved hard parmesan and arugula.

Check out all of our pecan flavors and make your own pairings. Don’t rush the experience, savor it. Since your palate is yours, successful pairings are completely subjective. So, have fun experimenting and discover your favorite matches. Branch out from familiar cheeses and discover amazing new taste combinations.

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