Whether it’s sprinkled on a salad, sandwiched between two crackers, served on a charcuterie board or pulled apart in all of its gooey glory, most of us can agree that cheese is pretty much the best thing in the world.

Lucky for us, we have some top quality cheese producers right here in our home and native land. Canadian cheese makers are recognized for their quality and taste throughout the world.

Because summer is for eating, drinking and being merry, here are the best cheese pairings for favourite summertime offerings, thanks to the seasoned folks at the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

With Beer
Summer and beer are pretty much synonymous – especially if a dock or barbeque is involved. While, “wine and cheese” has been a thing forever, “beer and cheese” has grown in popularity as of late. Pilsner pairs well with Havarti, while blonde ale goes well with bocconcini cheese. Sharp Canadian cheddar is best enjoyed with an IPA (a hoppy beer). Meanwhile, a blue cheese – like the creamy, award-winning pyramid-shaped Devil’s Rock from Thornloe Cheese Inc. – pairs best with a stout beer.

With Watermelon
Nothing says summer more than some fresh, juicy watermelon. And when it comes to cheese, nothing pairs quite as well with watermelon than feta. Either serve the two on skewers, as a salad, or as a circular, sliced “watermelon pizza,” sprinkled olives or other fruits like berries and sliced peaches.

With Sliced Pear
Havarti cheese is a solid accompaniment to sliced pear – a perfect mid-afternoon summertime snack. For a quality option, try the Dofino Havarti; a semi-soft choice with a luring, buttery and sweet aroma (and suddenly, a pear became a lot more enticing).

Sauvignon Blanc
On your way home, armed with a few bottles of quality sauvignon blanc, stop to pick up some feta along the way – it makes a perfect pairing with the wine, helping your #winewednesday cause.

Slices of fresh-picked (or store-bought) strawberries go well with bloomy rind cheeses, like the creamy Comox Camembert from natural Pastures in British Columbia (you may also want to include a side of truffle honey for the brie). Canadian ricotta is another reliable pair for strawberries and berries in general.

Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes have a (very delicious) moment every summer. Pair them with feta cheese, like the sharp and salty Fox Hill Feta, either as skewers or part of a salad – and don’t forget the balsamic.

If you’re seeking a perfect complement to a crisp, fresh cantaloupe, you’ll find it in ricotta cheese, like the Bella Casara Ricotta. This cheese made history at the 8th edition of the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix as the first fresh cheese, and first Ontario cheese, to be given the coveted title of Grand Champion.

Cucumber Slices
In addition to offering a refreshing burst of taste to your water bottle this summer, cucumber slices make a good option when it comes to pairing Brie, like the soft and creamy Belle Marie Brie.

On a Burger
To complete a freshly barbequed burger, top it with some quality Canadian cheddar like the highly-awarded Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar from Cows Creamery in Prince Edward Island. This cheese is aged for 14 months and known for its full-bodied flavour.

The next time you’re in the market for some quality cheese, look for the Dairy Farmers of Canada logo – and enjoy!

Photos by Nick Lee

This is a sponsored post brought to you by the amazing Dairy Farmers of Canada. We love supporting Canadian cheese!

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