Cheese and Honey

The sweet flavor of honey adds exciting flavor to a cheese plate

Cheese and Honey
Cheese and Honey. Photo by Jennifer Meier

A drizzle of sweet honey is the perfect contrast to the saltiness of cheese. Honey is meant to elevate the flavor of cheese, not smother it, so use it sparingly.

Serving Honey and Cheese

The easiest way to serve honey with cheese is to drizzle the honeyover a wedge of cheese minutes before your guests arrive. You can also serve a jar of honey on the side of a cheese plates.

Many cheese shops also sell pieces of honeycomb.

Leaving the honeycomb whole is visually stunning on a cheese plate and guests can cut off pieces of honeycomb to eat with the cheese.

It helps to serve slices of baguette and/or crackers, so cheese and honey can be spread or stacked on top.

What Kind of Cheese is Good with Honey?

Honey pairs well with almost any types of cheese, but is especially good with a mild and creamy cheese,  a spicy blue, an aged cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano or a tangy goat cheese.

Types of cheese that are good with honey incude:

  • Ricotta drizzled with honey can be served for breakfast or even as a dessert. This pairing is fantastic with fruit like figs, apricots or berries. You can also add a salty element by serving Prosciutto on the side.
  • Brie and triple cremes are lovely with a drizzle of honey and a garnish of nuts
  • Blue cheese is heavenly with honey. If you usually shy away from strong blues, this is the time to be more adventurous. The sweet honey will mellow out the strong flavor.
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano and other aged cheeses, such as sharp cheddar, are delicious with a drizzle of honey.
  • Fresh goat cheese and other tangy, acidic cheeses (like feta) are subdued with a drizzle of honey.

What Type of Honey Should I Buy?

The vast majority of honey sold in grocery stores is a blend of honeys derived from various flower sources.

It is also typically pasteurized to prevent crystallization. This type of honey has a mild and pleasant flavor and is fine for a cheese plate, although it does not have memorable, complex flavor.

If you'd like to try honey with more complex flavor components, buy from a gourmet store or farmer's market. Look for honey named after flowers such as orange blossom, lavender and clover. This indicates the type of flower the bee gathered nectar from. The subtle flavor nuances in these honeys are wonderful with cheese. You can also buy flavored honey, which is infused with flavors like lavender, orange, raspberry or truffle.

Honey comes in different forms. Liquid honey is the most common. Honey is also sold with chunks of the honeycomb in the jar. You can even buy a whole piece of honeycomb with the honey inside. Many gourmet cheese stores sell honeycomb now, as it's a unique way to present honey on a cheese plate.