Top: Crostini with Brie, Serrano ham and Fig Spread (photo courtesy Favor The Moments). Bottom: Enjoy trying the different spreads with different cheeses (photo courtesy Bonne Maman).
What’s a cheese condiment? What’s a cheese spread? you may ask. Here’s the food nerd explanation:
Given America’s growing familiarity with fine cheeses, here’s an…
INTRODUCTION TO CHEESE CONDIMENTS
What is the difference between a mostarda and a mustard? Why would you put honey on cheese? Can you use the same condiments on a log of fresh goat cheese and an aged Gouda?
Cheeses are wonderful on their own, but cheese condiments can bring out their nuances. Similar to wine pairings, the flavor and age of the cheese are taken into account when deciding on pairings.
We have an elaborate chart of cheese condiment pairings, from aged balsamic and mustard to sweet condiments such as chutney, honey and preserves.
Cheeses served with sweet condiments make delicious appetizers, desserts and snacks.
Take a look at the newest cheese condiments in town: three fruit spreads from premium jam, jelly and preserves company, Bonne Maman. They are all natural, non-GMO and certified kosher by OU.
MEET THE NEW CHEESE SPREADS FROM BONNE MAMAN
First, a word about “spreads.”
There are different types of fruit spreads, including chutney, jam, jelly, preserve and others.
Aside from the jam and jelly group, some people hear “cheese spread” and think of like Port Wine Cheddar. Not here.
As regards jam, in the U.S., “fruit spread” is generally a reduced-calorie product, replacing all or part of the sugar with fruit juice concentrate and low-calorie sweeteners. Not the case with Bonne Maman.
The new spreads from Bonne Mamam are very thick and concentrated preserves that don’t run or dribble: They stand firm, enabling you to use them in more ways. The flavor, too, is more intense—glorious, in fact. It was all we could do not to eat them directly from the jar. (Well, maybe we did.)
The best pairings are the ones you like. We’ve made some suggestions, but let your palate be your guide.
Black Cherry Spread Cheese Pairings
Tart cherries pair well with both sharp and creamy cheeses. We pair it with goat cheese, Brie and Camenbert.
This one is easy: Fig pairs well with all types of cheese.
For centuries, membrillo, quince paste, has been the classic condiment for aged Spanish cheeses. Cabrales and Manchego are most often found in the U.S., but your cheesemonger may also have Idiazabal, Roncal, Zamorano and others. Italy’s Parmigiano-Reggiano, with nuances similar to Manchego, pairs well; so does aged provolone. The nutty Swiss mountain cheeses are also a match: Appenzeller, Emmental (with the big holes called eyes), Gruyère* and French Comté.
Plan a cheese tasting with fruit spreads and other condiments. Your family and friends will love it!
As of this writing, you can download a $2 coupon on the Bonne Maman website.
Looking for small Mother’s Day gifts or party favors? Jet.com is currently selling a six-pack with free shipping.
The spreads are also available at retailers nationwide.
Top: Quince Spread atop a pyramid-shaped cheese (photo courtesy Taylor Takes A Taste). Bottom: A jar of Purple Fig Spread (photo courtesy Jet.com).