Grilled cheese doughnuts

Quirky food pairings that prove cheese makes everything better

Cheese is a delicacy to savour. Whether drizzled over a bed of corn chips or folded into a grilled sandwich or scattered on a slice of pizza, we support the notion that says the cheesier, the better. To put the versatility of cheese to the ultimate test, we decided to matchmake cheese with some unusual pairings. To our surprise, cheese really does make everything taste better. 

Blue cheese and hot cross buns
The season of hot cross buns has arrived and as any loyal Denizen reader knows, we take this delicacy very seriously. We’ve tried most of the offerings of spiced buns which lurk deliciously in the bakeries of Auckland. We’ve also trialled all sorts of accompaniments, from basic butter to decadent Nutella. But by far the most shocking attempted combination has been with blue cheese. Slice the bun in half to toast, then line each side with a thin layer of honey. Sprinkle some blue cheese, and taste the trance-like combination of the pungent creaminess, the natural sweetness and the spicy aroma of the blue veins.

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Blue cheese and hot cross buns

Gruyere cheese and lemon tart
Tart, slightly sour, subtly sweet, and refreshing to the palate, while remaining decadent and delicious — there really are many reasons to celebrate the lemon tart. Now you can try enhancing the flavour by mixing in some gruyere cheese. With the slight sweetness of the famous Swiss cheese, the traditional French dessert is given a well-balanced makeover, while also adding some richness to the texture of this timeless tart.  

Cheddar cheese and Shin Ramyun
Cheap, fast and delicious, despite its lack of nutritional value, Shin Ramyun is a godsend for any university student. But regular consumption of the same type of instant noodle will be wearying on the palette, so we suggest you switch things up with a slice or two of the humble American cheddar cheese. After you finish cooking the contents of the pack, simply place the slices on top of the steaming mound of noodles, allow the cheese to melt, and savour the creamy balance it gives to the spice, while also thickening and enriching the broth.

Cheddar cheese and Shin Ramyun

Comté cheese and caramelised bananas
Ever since we first tasted the King Kong bagel from Best Ugly, we’ve been obsessed with the pairing of caramelised bananas and cream cheese, whipped together and then slathered onto a chocolate bagel. Instead of the light cream cheese, we went for the nuttier and earthier French comté cheese. Tinder could not have come up with a more perfect match up- and taste wise it becomes a marriage made in foodie heaven, especially with the melting of the cheese over the fructose-rich caramelised banana. 

Pecorino Romano cheese on vanilla ice cream
Defending the honour and flavour of the frozen delight that’s sometimes described as bland or even boring, grated Pecorino Romano cheese offers both hard and salty aspects to vanilla ice cream. This combination will elevate your cooling scoop to hot new heights. Made from sheep’s milk, this Italian cheese is creamy, yet sharp in flavour. While it melts into the ice cream, it still offers a saltiness which resonates with salted caramel. 

Pecorino Romano cheese on vanilla ice cream

Mozzarella cheese with Japanese curry
Japanese curry is arguably the most underrated of the many delicacies in the curry universe. It boasts a flavour profile that’s closer to a peppery gravy, rather than being thick, rich or heavily spiced. Enter shredded mozzarella cheese to add some punchy extra decadence and creaminess to the gravy-like consistency, as well as saltiness to balance the strong notes of black pepper. 

Cheddar cheese with glazed doughnuts
Have you ever sliced your glazed doughnut in half, added cheddar cheese, and grilled it in a sandwich press? Not surprising if you haven’t, as this stretches the limits of indulgence, but we hope to tempt you to try it. The outer glaze of the doughnut slightly caramelises, the cheese melts into ooey-gooey goodness, and the whole creation becomes the epitome of a flavoursome sweet and savoury balancing act.


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