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.
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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