Good news cheese-lovers! Fall fruit is dropping and so are fruit prices. The USDA reports a 12% drop in the advertised prices for organic Honeycrisp apples and a 10% advertised price drop on both black and red organic seedless grapes. Advertised prices for pomegranates also saw a drop from last year.
Additionally, Supermarket Perimeter notes, “In previous years, nearly two-thirds of the years’ specialty cheese sales have taken place from Halloween to New Year’s Eve.” So now is the time to get your fruity cheese boards going!
Fruit and Cheese Boards
According to Supermarket Perimeter, “Specialty cheeses have long been a popular category, and over the last several months, cheese purchases have grown as more people are spending time at home, a good predictor that cheese boards will keep their popularity in 2020’s likely-untraditional holiday season.”
Charles Duque, Managing Director of the French Dairy Board says, “Fall is a great time to incorporate fruits that are fragrant and flavorful with specialty cheeses. Think Seckel mini pears or a mighty flavorful Bosc pear. Pomegranates will add glorious color to your board and pomegranate seeds will add interest. Persimmons are heavenly as are figs when they are ripe and luscious. The color contrast of dark fall fruits, such as figs and black grapes, with pale cheeses, such as Comté, is stunning.” To create your own fruity cheese board, check out the Fromage Board video from Cheeses of Europe, which demonstrates how to slice different cheeses and dried fruit—which is available all year long.
The key to making any successful cheese board is organization. According to Duque, “You want to organize your board so that cheeses are arranged from mildest to strongest. For example, starting with a creamy soft-ripened bloomy-rind like Camembert, Brie or Triple Crème, then a harder cheese like Mimolette, a washed-rind like Langres or Époisses, and finish off the board with a bleu such as Bleu d’Auvergne or Fourme d’Ambert.”
In addition to cheese boards, many seasonal recipes pair cheese and fall fruit. Brie is featured in many recipes with fruit, especially appetizer recipes. In the HuffPost feature, The Best Baked Brie Recipes On Planet Earth, there are recipes for Brie baked with figs, cranberries, apples and pears. The sweetness of fall fruit provides a counterbalance to strong bleu cheeses in appetizers such as Bacon Wrapped Dates with Bleu d’Auvergne, seasonal salads with apples, and tarts and savory pastries with pears.
The easiest way to pair cheese and fall fruit may be with tartines. The French open-faced hot-or-cold-sandwich features bread with toppings made famous stateside, by the Belgian cafe chain Le Pain Quotidien. In the Le Pain Quotidien cookbook, you’ll find combinations such as Toasted Camembert, or Walnut & Fig Tartine. Author and Le Pain Quotidien founder, Alain Coumont, notes that walnuts and cheese are a classic pairing, and that the fruity note added by fig jam makes the tartine particularly satisfying. For more delicious pairing ideas, visit cheesesofeurope.com.
About the Cheeses of Europe
The Cheeses of Europe Marketing Campaign, orchestrated by Cniel (The French Dairy Inter-Branch Organization) and funded in part by the European Union, was designed to create awareness for the variety of European cheeses available in the US market and to suggest ways that American consumers can incorporate those cheeses into their diets, recipes and lifestyles. The campaign’s goal is to increase the appeal of European cheeses and strengthen their competitive position in the growing specialty cheese category.
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THE CONTENT OF THIS ADVERTISEMENT REPRESENTS THE AUTHOR’S POINT OF VIEW ONLY AND IS THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE AUTHOR. THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY USE THAT MAY BE MADE OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED THEREIN.