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Apple and Cheese Pairing of the Week: Bramley’s Seedling and Camembert

December 1, 2011

Camembert is the vaguely edgier cousin of Brie, a creamy soft-rind cheese with a gentle bitterness on the finish. And it comes from Normandy in northern France, which is also prime apple country. So it’s no surprise that Camembert pairs beautifully with Calvados (apple brandy) and fruity hard ciders. But when it comes to apples, you need a fruit with a little bite, something to stand up to those sharper flavors from the cheese.

Enter Bramley’s Seedling, a beautiful firm-tart English cooking apple with some tannins in the skin. If you eat these together, you get balance: the acidity of the fruit stands up to the richness of the cheese, and the bitter flavors complement each other. By contrast, a purely sweet apple like a Red Delicious or Winter Banana is a disaster. The cheese seems flabby and everything tastes bitter.

Try this pairing with some toasted walnuts, a warm baguette, and a glass of good French cider.

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