Chutneys are condiments made with distinctive yet complementary mixes of fruits, vegetables and spices. Textures range in thickness from light, creamy toppings to robust, chunky condiments that can be sweet, spicy or savory.
With so much versatility, it's no surprise that many chutneys are delicious with fromage! Most chutneys pair perfectly with at least some cheeses.
Authentic fruit chutney includes unique, distinctive flavors in contrast to jams and preserves, which feature the fruit alone. Chutneys are often made with vinegar and sugar along with spices, fruits and veggies.
Pair fruit-based chutneys with soft cheeses like Ile de France brie, St. Albray and the new Normandie camembert. Tomato-based chutneys pair well with hard cheeses like Etorki, Fol Epi and Comté.
Pear & Hot Pepper Chutney
Create a Cheeseboard featuring Morbier Charles Arnaud, Etorki, and Ile de France Brie and Goat cheeses to serve with this extraordinarily flavorful pear-based chutney.
Pear & Hot Pepper Chutney - Serves: 8
2 pounds firm ripe pears (4 large), peeled, finely chopped
1/2 cup red pepper (1/2 small), finely chopped
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 small fresh jalapenos, minced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger root
1/2 tsp. whole grain mustard
1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
pinch of salt
1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
If not chutney, how about honey?
2. Uncover and raise heat to medium low; simmer, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is reduced, about 20 minutes.
Honey is one of the simplest and most delicious cheese pairings and, in contrast to chutney, takes virtually no time to prepare.
With its classic salty and sweet combination, it's a no fuss way to serve fine cheese that will appeal to novice cheese tasters as well as veteran fromage lovers.
While simple to execute, a honey-and-cheese plate doesn't have to be boring or devoid of variety.
Serve three to five different types of honeys and cheeses and let guests mix and match pairings. One way to differentiate the intensities of honeys is by color: The darker the honey, the more robust the flavor. To ensure variety, simply pick one honey that's nearly clear, one with a medium honey tone and one that appears nearly dark brown.
For the cheese, simply pick three-five you like and make sure each is different. A fresh-tasting Ile de France goat cheese, a creamy Ile de France brie and a full-flavored blue such as St. Agur, Roquefort or Fourme d'Ambert are all excellent choices and a hard cheese such as Etorki or Comté will be delicious as well.
Ile de France Goat Cheese is also wonderful with honey - there is a nice rounded balance between the tanginess of the cheese and the sweetness of the honey.