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Sweet Italian Delights to Pair with Cheese

A Pairing Primer for Formaggio

Sweet Italian Delights to Pair with Cheese

We've sourced five Northern-Italian rarities with wide-ranging applications—use as a sweet sauce for panna cotta and other desserts, as a finishing drizzle over grilled meats, and as the perfect accompaniment to cheese.


Five Italian Cheese Pleasers

Our products pair beautifully with a wide variety of international cheeses, but we've narrowed down the list to a few of our favorite Italian formaggi:

Mugolio – Pine Cone Bud Syrup

Primitivizia, from Trentino-Alto Adige

A viscous syrup tasting of pine resin with notes of delicate maple, rosemary, and wild herbs.

Pair with:

  • Crucolo: A northern Italian cow's milk cheese with a supple texture and tangy finish. From the same region as Mugolio.
  • Robiola: A family of fresh or soft-ripened cheeses typically from Northern Italy made with one, two, or three latti (milks). Robiola cheeses have a high moisture content that elevates flavors beautifully.

Green Walnut Syrup

Azienda Agricola Valier, from Veneto

A rich syrup made with macerated green walnuts and natural vanilla bean, thick as aged balsamico.

Pair with:

  • Gongonzola Dolcelatte: Velvety Green Walnut Syrup coats the tongue, softening and enhancing the intense flavors of this blue-veined cow's milk cheese. The cream from the cheese will, in turn, bring out the nuttiness in the syrup.
  • Pecorino Toscano: A Tuscan sheep's milk cheese with sharp nutty flavor and balanced acidity. The nutty notes of the cheese will deepen the walnut essence of the Green Walnut Syrup. Try a young Pecorino Toscano Fresco or an aged Pecorino Toscana Staggianato.

Chestnut Honey

Franca Franzoni, from Tuscany

A Tuscan specialty for the serious honey lover: dark, dense, and bitter with woody aromas of hay and bark, and a strong tannic finish.

Pair with:

  • Gorgonzola Dolcelatte: The intense and tannic honey is balanced by the creamy, sweet milk of this blue-veined cheese.
  • Ricotta: The dynamic flavors of Chestnut Honey are softened by the cream in fresh ricotta.

Saba – Grape Must Dressing

Acetaia Leonardi, from Emilia-Romagna

Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes are cooked for days in open copper vats, reducing the grape must to a sweet concentrate that is then aged for four years.

Pair with:

  • Parmigiano-Reggiano: The "king of all cheese" has subtle tropical fruit notes (think pineapple) that play harmoniously with the sweet, fruity Saba.
  • Taleggio: This semi-soft, washed-rind cheese from Lombardy has a distinctive tangy, yeasty flavor that is balanced by the rich fruitiness of Saba.

Sour Cherries in Syrup

Morello Austera, from Marche

Ambrosial amarene (sour cherries) jarred in syrup made from their own juices blended with sugar and spices.

Pair with:

  • Brunet: This goat's milk cheese from the Alta Langa region has a thin, delicate wrinkly rind that tastes of grass and straw with a soft acidity that balances the sweetness from the Sour Cherries in Syrup.
  • Ricotta: The sweet, fresh ricotta is the perfect vehicle to showcase the fruity character of the cherries. Serve it at the end of the meal as dessert.

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