Developer: California Milk Producers Advisory
Runs on: iPhone, Android
You take milk, heat it up, add some ingredients, press the curds in a cloth, place in a mold and let it age. What you get is cheese; glorious, creamy, melty, earthy cheese.
And where do happy cows live to produce some of the best cheese in the world? California. That’s according to the California Milk Advisory Board, who have just put out a cheese pairing app, Pair Savvy. This app lists over 60 cheese varieties and delivers pairing options for wine, beer, fruit and chocolate.
When opening the app, you have the option of searching by one of the aforementioned categories (except fruit), view your previously saved pairings or click a button and get a surprise pairing. When you “search,” what you’re really get is a scrollable list. You can’t jump to a letter in the alphabet or type in a search, but it’s not a big problem since the lists are relatively small. Click on “Black Lager” in the beer category and the app will tell you that cottage cheese and gouda both pair well. For each suggestion you have the ability to save and rate the pairing (from one to five stars).
When you search by cheese, a list of cheesemakers appears at the bottom of the page with basic information and a link to their website. Additionally, you can click a link to view the entire cheesemaker list by the California Milk Advisory Board.
On the downside, when you click a hyperlink within the app you’re taken out of the app to your browser and have to relaunch the app if you want back in. Another shortcoming of this app is that you can’t crosslink from one pairing to another. For example, if you find that gouda pairs well with dark chocolate, you can’t click on dark chocolate to see other cheese pairings.
Overall, Pair Savvy provides a very useful reference guide for pairing cheese with the other items. The app does not have robust functionality, but it doesn’t need it. The “Surprise Pairing” option is a fun way to explore new cheeses and having a list of cheesemakers is the type of information food lovers and chefs will find very useful.
The design is simple, but could use more of the real estate to boost the font size and/or increase the thumbnail image sizes. With a price tag of zero, though, I found that this app pairs very well with my smartphone and think you will be happy as a cow.
Toque Rating: 3.5/5