Up your platter game with Barker's new Fruit for Cheese! Delicious fruit paste that pairs perfectly with cheese and is most at home upon your DIY platter or grazing board. Popping up in supermarkets nationwide - in the specialty cheese section.
NZ blackberries with a hint of brandy essence to create a delicious match for strong cheeses such as blue and vintage cheddar.
• Gluten: 'nil detected'
• No artificial colours or flavours
• No preservatives
• Made in New Zealand
• Refrigerate after opening.
A long time fan of barkers fruit products this was a superb flavour temptation for me. It sounded really luxurious and quite flash for boring old cheese and crackers. It was a perfect go to for the parties leading up to christmas and over the holiday break (we even cancelled dinner to just eat cheese, crackers and fruit one night.
I thought the volume was appropriate and the value is a good mix of indicating quality and being affordable occasionally. It would not last long in our household but the lid was an easy close and open and the seal peeled back simply. The only issue that I wonder about a solution for how to display what the flavour/ingredients are. I like it when folk can see if there are any problem ingredients for them. The texture was perfect, not too runny and not too solid. It had a smoothness that was ideal for spreading.
We used it with a range of cheeses and as long as I didn't layer it on too thickly (quite tempting I admit) it was a good match for the harder stronger cheeses. It did overpower a soft cheese (unless you had a bigger bit of cheese and less of the fruit. The perfect combo for me was a vintage cheddar with a water cracker. The fruit for cheese concept is pretty sweet but not sickly and does exactly what it says it will. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this given I generally don't like fruit in my cheese.
I loved the sweetness that the brandy brought to the blackberry - although if I had been blind tasting I might not have known which liqueur had been added (I am not a brandy drinker). I would however definitely identify the lovely strong blackberry. It was a great combination of flavours and I will definitely be repurchasing for the next occasion. This was my favourite of the fruits for cheeses I tried but I think that had more to do with personal preference than the quality - they are all exceptionally good and varied in taste. Well done Barkers.
Initially I did not request this flavour when they first appeared as I was concerned about the brandy aspect. I was worried it would be too over powering and I didn't want my girls to have. As we enjoyed the other three flavours I was delighted to see this was still available. The previous three flavours are a distant memory as none ended up lasting long as we are a lover of cheese and wackers during movies or as a naughty late night snack.
Taking along for a picnic we had couple weeks back it was opened by my daughter who smoothered over her cracker and cut a piece of cheese. Like my husband and I they do enjoy there cheese and wackers and after eatting it quickly prepared another 3 while the rest of us were preparing our wraps. She twisted the oh so easy lid and joined the rest of us making a wrap, and then unscrewed and surprisingly spread it on her wrap, declaring how good it was.
Since then my husband and I have indulged, more than once on our favourite snack with a cider in the mix. Using on the cracker or placing a blob on the cheese the combination works either way. It does look and spreads like a jam and where as you can smell the brandy, I do not taste it. Instead it is more the blackberry flavour coming thru. It makes a fantastic addition to our snack as I always feel a little bit grown up having it.
The label says perfect for blue and cheddar cheeses but we have had on Feta and Camembert and find the combination works. My daughter has also used as a dip but it was not as solid as she was hoping. Unfortunately, I would say it only has one more nights worth of use left before it is gone and I think this flavour will be brought again as everyone has enjoyed.
This is exactly what I expected it to be. An incredibly strong flavour that would overpower anything but the strongest of cheeses. Blackberry has always been a really strong flavour, and the colour of this product told me that it certainly wasn't significantly diluted. The brandy didn't seem to do much to affect the flavour profile, though you could definitely tell alcohol was involved in some way, and the sharpness of the blackberries was not there.
The packet specified that cheddar cheeses would be the best choice, so I prepared some toast and some tasty cheddar cheese. The knife was able to enter the paste and scoop out a sufficient amount with ease and spread it without pulling off any of the cheese.
The strength of flavour certainly means that this fruit paste is a bit limited with the types of cheese that it will work with. It worked fine with tasty cheddar, but you could still struggle to taste the cheddar unless you have a really thick piece of cheese or very little fruit. A sharp or vintage cheddar would work better or even splash out on some fancy ones (there's a Kapiti Portwine Cheddar Cheese that I absolutely adore that might balance really well with this).
The product comes in the same package as the rest of the range, Very easy to open and close; with a slight twist. a foil top on the pot also helps to seal in the freshness and extend that shelf-life.
Although I've had grapes and other fruit on a cheese board, the concept of a fruit paste to go with cheese is a new concept for me and I was interested to discover how a fruit paste could transform a cheese platter. The paste comes in a plastic tub and has a lid that twists on and off easily and you can see the dark purple paste through gaps in the label. Upon opening, I was confronted with the gorgeous smell of blackberries and brandy and the two appeared to compliment each other beautifully. The paste is jam like in consistency and has tiny bits of blackberry in it but the paste is mostly smooth.
I tried some of the paste by itself and it was deliciously sweet but not as sweet as jam and the brandy flavour came through at the end. I tried this with some brie and crackers and it really did transform the flavour with the sweet and savoury flavours blending delightfully together. I had a social gathering and offered this with some cheese and crackers and all who tried it commented on how flavoursome it was. One of my friends stated that it was not as sweet as jam and would be lovely on some toast which I thought was a great idea! The next morning, the paste was spread on my toast and I can honestly say that it was nicer than any jam I have tried. It was sweet without being sickly sweet and great for first thing in the morning.
I have to admit that I am extremely impressed with this paste. Not only is it fabulous with toast and cheese and crackers, but I'm positive it would make for some tasty jam tarts (my next mission!).
I love blackberries so when deciding on which of the 'Fruit for Cheese' to request to try it was an easy decision to be made. I wasn't to sure about the berry being paired with brandy, as I'm not a brandy drinker but decided in this instance it may just work, which it absolutely did without a doubt.
In true Barkers style the labeling was great beautifully matching colours and images to demonstrate well the product within and it's desired use. Best of all the labeling and pot as a whole was elegant enough that it would be perfect for placing on a platter or the likes just as without needing to transfer the contents to another container. The pot of fruit was easy enough to open by twisting the lid and then peeling back the foil lid, which is perfect for keeping the product fresh.
Upon my first smell of the product I could smell that of brandy quite strongly, however upon first taste I was unable to taste any (which was fine by me), instead I could taste the sweet, sweet taste of blackberries and knew that with this product I had hit a winner. The fruit was a great consistency not to thin and not to thick and was just right that if needed you could thin it out a little. Pairing it with a hard cheese on crackers was how I decided to try it out first, this was great and I loved how the sharpness of the cheddar paired with the Sweetness of the blackberries, Miss 6 agreed and loved it so much she wanted to eat it by the spoonful which to her sadness I wouldn't allow.
Next up I decided to make pizzas for dinner, so in place of my usual cranberry sauce I decided to use the brandy and BlackBerry fruit. After spreading this generously over the base of one of my pizzas I topped it off with some spinach leaves, roast chicken, bacon and a mix of both tasty and camembert cheeses. The smell of this cooking was delightful and we could smell the berries wafting through the kitchen. The taste wow it was amazing and loved by all, the pizza went so much quicker than the other pizza that had been served up.
With only a small amount of this delicious product remaining I decided to pop it on top on some fresh pike lets with whipped cream, again delicious and so much better than using jam! Barkers once again you have created another amazing product which can be used in so many more ways than intended, I will be buying this again soon.
Having fruit with cheese is not something new, but it definitely feels a bit fancy when you do it! This fruit paste sounded amazing when I saw it listed - blackberry and brandy - yum - I definitely need to try it. I do eat a fair bit of cheese so to be able to give myself a bit of a treat with the cheese was a big plus! It is pleasing to see that in true Barker's style this is NZ Made, not too many additives in the product, and high quality I have come to expect from Barker's.
Looking at the pot - it has nice drawing on it - and with each pot having different colours, it is easy to spot that one you most prefer on the shelf. The pot also looks nice so if you are entertaining you could just leave the fruit paste in the pot and serve it. The is an easy to open lid and sealed foil top also. I liked the "twist to lock" lid rather than simply push on - it does seem much more secure, as long as everyone actually knows to do that!! The ingredients list is really good - making sure to tell you everything in it - and it was nice to see the fruit as the major ingredient. It is reasonably high in sugar, but then, you want the sweet to compliment the cheese.
I decided to wait till later in the evening to try this - as an after dinner snack with my hubby. Whilst it recommends using it with the stronger flavoured cheese - I only had brie to use. I got my crackers out, cut small wedges of cheese, and then "dolloped" the fruit paste on the top. Tasting it, wow - it was really nice!! You can absolutely taste the blackberry - I did not really taste the brandy, and personally enjoyed it as it was not as sweet as another of the flavours, so suited me better.!
I took this to my daughters birthday party along with another flavour, and asked friends about them too. Everyone really liked it, and said it went well with the creamy cheeses. I later tried it with blue cheese, and wow - such a great pairing. The fruit paste provides the right amount of sweet to compliment the sharpness of the cheese - perfect lovely indulgent snack!
All in all - deliciously nice - and full of flavour. I would probably not get this very often, choosing to have it as a treat, mostly due to the higher price tag on it. I think it is worth it, as it is a quality, well made fruit paste, with potential to use it for other things too, which I will have to have a go at!
Cheese with jam has long been a popular snack choice for me and while this is not specifically jam it did remind me of my days as a child growing up with my nana who served cheese slices and her home made jams as a treat. This one in particular reminded me of my nanas jams as i'm pretty sure she used brandy in a lot of things and lots of berries. I could of quite easily sat and ate the whole tub with blue cheese and crackers in one sitting but reminded myself of portion control.
I found it was a great pairing for blue cheese but equally as nice with a strong vintage cheddar, the pairing of the sweet berries and brandy with the strongness of the cheese is a match made in heaven. The brandy came through quite strongly but it was definitely sweet like berries so while you could definitely use it in a sweet dish even for jam on toast pairing it with cheese to mix the sweet with the savoury is absolutely gorgeous on the palate.
Out of the four varities this was my firm favourite and I will definitely be buying more in future we do like to have sharing platters and this is a great addition to a platter in my opinion and the tubs are the perfect size to have on the platter on their own rather than having to dish out inidividual servings. With visually appealing packaging I also do not mind having the container itself on the platter while some products I do find myself spooning into dip bowls.
Out of the three Fruit for Cheese products I recieved, this was the one I was most looking forward to, I LOVE blackberries when I don't have to deal with the seeds and this looked like it could be perfect as there are no seeds in this mixture. Opening it up, with some difficulty, I then grabbed a teaspoon and shovelled a small amount into my mouths found it delicious and promptly had some more, it was delicious and tasted rather similar to the seedless bramble berry jam from Barker's that I adore. My eight year old tried some and really wanted me to just hand over the container and was dissapointed when I turned down her request.
I tried this some Gouda, cracked pepper Gouda, smoked cheddar, vintage cheddar, Brie, blue Brie, Camembert and feta, so it had a good range of cheeses to be tried with. I found this went well with the harder cheeses, it was too rich to go well with the softer cheeses, it especially went well with the vintage cheddar I had bought. This tasted just as nice on the small piklets that I had picked up and they were quickly gobbled up by all three of my kids, so it went down well. I think I will have to buy some of this closer to Christmas as it tastes do delicious I can see it pairing perfectly with fresh cream and brandy snaps. I'm not 100% sure this will get used much for cheese but it will definitely get eaten so I can easily see us buying some as a treat in the future.
There is something inherently decadent about this variety of fruit for cheese. Although I was expecting a hint of brandy essence, I am sure there was more than that - because the brandy flavour was the first I registered! Couple that with rich dark blackberries and blue cheese and you have the recipe for a celebrity hors d'oeuvres platter. To say I liked the combination would be an understatement; it surpassed my expectations. Two of the other adults in our party agreed with me 100%; they could not get enough of it.
It was less popular with the children, however. Blue cheese is not usually their cheese of choice, and they also commented on the flavour of the spread - the little one said "Has it got booze in?" and that was when she had just sniffed it; at that stage she had not tasted it at all. They declined to try any, which was fine by the adults - we happily finished the entire plateful without any assistance.
However, I was interested to see whether it was the blue cheese combination that the children had objected to rather than the fruit itself, so I tried serving it another way - and this time they assured me that it was yummy! I served up some vanilla ice-cream and halved grapes, and put a little of the blackberry and brandy combination on top. I had warmed it slightly so that it became more runny and spread over the surface of the ice-cream. Although the youngest still told me she thought it smelled of booze (!), she did agree to try it along with the others - and this time it was a hit with all three. Clearly it had been the cheese rather than the fruit that had put them off.
For dessert next day we had pancakes; I spread a little blackberry and brandy spread on each one, added whipped cream, then rolled them loosely. Nobody needed a second invitation; the pancakes disappeared as if by magic, and everyone kept asking if there were seconds. There weren't, but only because I had used the entire pot so they were out of luck.
I am hoping this product will come out in a bigger container so it will stretch to a larger family. There were eight of us to test it on this occasion, and we could certainly have used more and tried some other combinations. I would also like to try it with an aged cheddar; I loved it with the blue cheese we had, but I think the cheddar combination would be different again. Something to try next time!
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