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Issue 79 - The big cheese

Whisky Magazine Issue 79
April 2009


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The big cheese

Whisky and cheese is one of the best pairings to grace a dinner table, Kate Portman investigates why...

Sometimes we have to think big. If food pairing is really going to be the key that opens the door to the whisky world for a new generation of drinkers – or indeed win over sceptical malt lovers and expose them to new frontiers of taste - then we need to ditch the detail. Rather than pinning down specific whisky expressions with complicated dishes, we need be broad and bold in suggesting foods that really work with whisky and giving simple pairing ideas with plenty of potential to encourage experimentation. Such ideas don't come much bigger or better than whisky and cheese.

Inspired by Mr Broom's campaign to ‘convert a friend to whisky' in last issue's column, it seemed appropriate to look at one of the most approachable ways we can use a food pairing to introduce malts to any whisky virgins we know. For starters, the concept comes with the benefit of not focusing solely on the whisky, so you're half way there already to winning over reluctant malt imbibers. Cheese has such a huge variety of styles, textures and spectrums of flavour so when combined with the equally wonderful diversity of malt whisky, which gives us plenty of scope to find something to suit everyone's individual palate.

Just like chocolate (my other contender for the best simple food match with whisky), cheese is a food that appeals to large number of enthusiastic, sometime fanatical, devotees who are passionate about consuming it – in the same way those of us who populate the whisky world are drawn to...

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