Blue Cheese + Bacon Bursting Caramel Popcorn

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By Wisconsin cheese

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We partnered with some of our favorite food bloggers to craft unique winter flavor pairings that will make you wish spring wasn’t around the corner. One of our favorites from Heidi of FoodieCrush answers a difficult pairing conundrum – what stacks up against blue cheese?

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Blue cheeses have a personality all their own and can take over a tasting if we let them. They’re a bit complicated, more complex and come in a variety of textures that add an extra bit of uniqueness to their breed. That’s why selecting a pairing with blue cheese can be an incredibly interesting challenge.

This flavor combination matches the bold, strong taste of blue cheese with two sweet and savory crowd favorites that can handle the punch – caramel popcorn and bacon. Because blue cheeses are on the saltier side, Heidi says one of her strategies was to go in the opposite direction of savory and head for the sweet side. The sweet flavors of caramel popcorn spiked with the earthy flavor of hardwood bacon meet blue cheese head-on to create a perfect pairing. It’s a match made in bacon and blue cheese heaven, if you ask us.

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Bacon Bursting Caramel Popcorn
By Heidi of FoodieCrush
 
Servings: Makes 16 cups
 
Ingredients:
 

1/2 pound strip bacon, preferably hardwood smoked

4 quarts (16 cups) popped popcorn

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed

3/4 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Wisconsin blue cheese, for pairing

 

Cooking Directions:
 
Cook bacon according to package directions and drain on paper towels. Break into bite-size pieces.
 
Pour popcorn into large bowl. Scatter bacon pieces over popcorn and lightly toss.
 
Melt brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in heavy bottom pan. Stir and cook to 225°F on candy thermometer for chewy popcorn or 240°F for crunchy popcorn. Pour mixture over popcorn and bacon and stir to distribute sauce evenly.
 
Evenly spread popcorn mixture on buttered baking sheet and cool.
 
Serve with Wisconsin blue cheese.


For more winter cheese pairing ideas, visit EatWisconsinCheese.com.

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