Round out your award-winning cheese plate with these showstopping savory accompaniments.
As far as we know, Quince & Apple is the only American company with the chutzpah to concoct this traditional Italian condiment. It’s no joke; aside from apples, pears, lemon, and fermented yellow mustard seeds, the recipe calls for mustard oil—so cooking it requires a literal gas mask. But the result is unparalleled. “To me, it’s perfect,” says Gordon Edgar, cheese buyer at Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco. “It’s such an amazing blend of sweet, spicy, and hot—it goes with almost anything I can think of.” To get acquainted, dollop it on a cave-aged cheddar and prepare to have your sinuses cleared—and your mind blown.
Spain’s famed native almond is traditionally skinned before being fried. In this Valencian version, the nuts get to keep their deep mahogany-brown exteriors, which helps the kernels soak up a bit more of the olive oil they’re fried in. The sea-salt-sprinkled final result is a ridiculously addictive snack with nut-buttery flavors that mirror those of aged sheep’s milk cheeses like Zamorano or Roncal.
When Boston-based Blackbird Doughnuts sought a honey to glaze a parmesan-sprinkled doughnut, they turned to this barrel-aged blend. It’s not hard to see why: The wildflower honey, produced in Massachusetts, spends several months sitting in casks formerly used to age French dessert wine Sauternes. Made with grapes colonized by a mold known as “noble rot,” the wine’s unmistakable layer of almost cheese-like funk is echoed in the honey. Floral and just a bit oaky at the finish, the sweet stuff is swoon-worthy atop that yeasted doughnut sprinkled with parm—but it’s also complex enough to pair with funkier cheeses like blues and bries.
When you think “pâté,” poultry likely comes to mind. For a new spin on tradition, turn to Olympia Provisions Pork Liver Mousse. Made with a combination of its namesake offal and lard, the sweet and spicy mousse is seasoned with port wine, coriander, and red and black peppers. Light, fluffy, and spreadable, the mousse is capped with a layer of luxurious rendered pork fat. We love it on a baguette sandwich with stone-ground mustard and Alpine-style cheese.
Is there anything more epic than bone-in prosciutto? Well, maybe bone-in lamb prosciutto. This statement piece from Pennsylvania-based 1732 Meats is cured for nearly a year, resulting in an immensely deep flavor that goes gangbusters with umami-laden aged cheeses like Grana Padano and—if you’re looking to layer the lamb flavor—sheep’s milk Paski Sir.
Photographed by Mark Ferri
Styled by Leslie Orlandini