Asher Johnson; drama teacher and father of two, he has a habit of sneaking peas into his kids mac + cheese in order to boost the nutritional value. He owns a library of cookbooks, attempts nearly all recipes from different cuisines, and is possibly the best contender for Channel 10’s Masterchef. Some of the best food I have ever eaten was made by him, and he knows and incredible amount about all types of ingredients and cooking methods. When I asked him for a flavour combination, it didnt take him long to offer the pairing of aged cheddar and maple syrup.
It makes perfect sense! “Something like syrup, which is very sweet and gooey and viscous, paired with a sharp, nutty and chalky textured cheddar.” Asher finds that “the syrup or honey, depending on what you use, really heightens and elevates the cheese. It enhances even some of the best cheeses”.
Asher described how it works with all types of cheeses and syrups. It the rule of pairing sweet with savoury and mellow with sharp. “Yesterday, I sent my daughter to school with a Tasty cheese and golden syrup sandwich for lunch, it works the same way”.
I couldn’t help but think back to when I was travelling in Parma and at lunch we would sit down to charcuteries and cheese boards with droplets of honey and balsamic vinegar. Parmigiano-Reggiano with honey – at the time it blew my mind!
This particular food match got me wondering (and google-ing) about other cheese and syrup combinations. Honey, golden syrup and maple syrup are all interchangeable, but the choice of cheese is unlimited!
– A strong blue cheese is mellowed out by the syrup, so if your game, pick a rich and salty one like Roquefort.
– Ricotta cheese and honey is a popular breakfast or dessert
– Baked Brie cheese with maple syrup and pecans as an appetiser
I also found this Cheese Pairing Guide to be really interesting and if your a cheese lover, I highly recommend giving it a look!
Recipe idea – Asher likes to get slices of fig and walnut bread, cover it in aged cheddar and drizzle it with golden syrup. He then puts it under the grill until the cheese has melted. It sounds like the ultimate grilled sandwich, and I will definitely be trying this one!