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Cheeselands 2016: Crackers and Jams


An under-considered component of any cheese plate is the cracker. Whether you are complementing flavors in your curds, cleansing your palate, or just idly munching, its important to have the right bit of starch on hand. Here are some of our favorites that we will be using on many of our Cheese Lands plates!

Effie’s Homemade

Photo Credit: Effie's Homemade

Photo Credit: Effie’s Homemade

I’ll just warn you now to tread lightly around Effie’s——these savory crackers are almost impossible to put down. You think you’ll just eat one, but before you know it, you’ve eaten out all the Whole Foods in the area and you start getting Low Balance notifications on your phone. Whoops. We’ve chosen the Ryecake and Corncake varieties for our plates, but all flavors have the potential to pair well. From their website:

Rustic Bakery Pan Forte Crostini

Photo Credit: Rustic Bakery

Photo Credit: Rustic Bakery

The so-called “strong breads” from Rustic Bakery are a little thicker and heartier than your average crisp. Flavors range from Hazelnut and Sultana to Pecan, Rosemary, and Cranberry. The online store recommends their own pairings for each flavor, in case you are searching to partner a specific cheese.

La Panzanella Mini Original Croccantini

Photo Credit: La Panzanella

Photo Credit: La Panzanella

For a lighter accompaniment, La Panzanella provides a refreshing, simple, and straight-up addicting cracker that packs a crisp punch but comes off clean on the palate. Croccantini know that the cheese is the star of the show.

34 Degrees Natural Crisps

 Photo Credit: 34 Degrees

Photo Credit: 34 Degrees

Hailing from my native Denver, 34 Degree crisps are a staple at any culture office tasting. These deliciously airy crackers come in a variety of flavors, of which Rosemary is my personal favorite. Their lightness allows them to shine and support in any pairing, and they make an ideal light snack even if you don’t have any cheese handy.

Figs and Jam

Our plates just wouldn’t look right without sweet or smoky jams to spread on top a slice of cheese. For Cheese Lands, we’re bringing out the best of the best to astonish your taste buds.

Smokin’ Padrón Jam

In 2009, Tabitha Stroup decided to start a business selling her delicious jams. Tabitha’s Appropriate Jams was so successful that in 2011 she created Friends In Cheeses Jam Company, based in Santa Cruz, Calif. This is great news for us, since now we get to choose between an immense variety of flavors such as Forbidden Fruit Marmalade and Pisco Pear Butter to complement our favorite cheeses. For Cheese Lands, we’re featuring Friend in Cheeses’ all-around pairing champ, the Smokin’ Padrón Conserve! Smoked peppers (originally from Galicia in northwestern Spain) are blended with orange, lemon, and grapefruit for a rockin’ spread that goes well with most any cheese under the sun.

Prickly Purple Heart Jam

Also hailing from Friends In Cheeses, the sweet and tangy Prickly Purple Heart features a mix of cactus pears, apple juice, vanilla, seat salt, and spices, perfect for “the stinkiest of cheeses and driest of wines.”

Organic Mission Fig Spread

Photo Credit: Miss Cheesemonger

Photo Credit: Miss Cheesemonger

Valley Fig Grower’s Organic Mission Fig Spread will accompany a variety of cheeses on our Cheesemonger’s Pick board. The spread, made fresh in California’s Central Valley, has a traditional fig flavor that will embellish the flavor any cheese. To switch up the texture, we’ll also be offering some sweet and supple dried golden and mission figs, too.

Feature Photo Credit: Effie’s Hommemade

Becca McGilloway

Becca McGilloway is currently a senior at Emerson College studying Writing, Literature, and Publishing. When she isn't on the hunt for the latest cheese-permeated vegetarian recipe on Pinterest, she's probably binge-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix.