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Around the Board: Summer 2023

Subtly sweet and perfectly crisp, Firehook’s new Crispy Graham Crackers have endless pairing possibilities. They’re equally as delicious when dressed up with gourmet cheese or when used to make s’mores around a campfire. We love them with a soft, spreadable washed rind like Blakesville Creamery Afterglow; the subtle notes of cinnamon in the crackers play well with thinly sliced apples and the grassy notes in the cheese.

Goodnow Farms uses local Jersey milk butter from High Lawn Farm to craft a single-origin Brown Butter Chocolate Bar that is complex, creamy, and delicious. Goodnow Farms makes its own cocoa butter with the same Zorzal cacao used to make the chocolate, which allows the cacao’s natural flavors to shine through. The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills recommends pairing this bar with a nutty, salty Comté to bring out the flavors of the brown butter.

There’s a new kind of ham in town, and it’s made of lamb! Aussie Select Lamb Ham crafts its charcuterie with free-range, grass-fed Australian lamb, and seasons it with pure agave syrup and fresh rosemary for a balanced and aromatic flavor with notes of nutmeg, fennel, and garlic. The pre-sliced format is perfect for a grazing board. Try serving alongside a tangy, crumbly cheddar such as Cabot Clothbound to contrast the subtle sweetness in the lamb.

A family-run business, Janet’s Finest Compotes has been handcrafting its sweet and spicy compotes for over 25 years. Each of the eight flavors is made with fresh jalapeños to give them a kick that’s perfect for spicing up everyday cheese pairings. The Blackberry Jalapeño compote has a bright, earthy flavor that lingers on the palate. Pair it with fresh chevre and a fruit-and-nut crisp for a cool contrast to the heat of the jam.

JOSE Gourmet Spiced Octopus is caught off the Portuguese coast and slow- cooked to ensure maximum tenderness. It is marinated in extra virgin olive oil and piri piri, a fiery chili pepper that adds a kick of heat and depth to the tender octopus. For a cheesy spin on a classic Spanish dish, serve the octopus with boiled potatoes, shaved Manchego or Mahón cheese, and a dusting of paprika.

Josie Krogh

Josie Krogh is culture's Digital Strategy Lead. She earned her master's degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics from The University of Georgia. Josie developed a love of food while working at farmstands in the D.C. area as a young adult, and discovered her love of cheese while living and working on a dairy farm on Martha's Vineyard. She is passionate about the food supply chain, fresh stone fruit, and dogs. Josie currently lives in Catskill, NY.

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