Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Strawberry chili jam and cheddar cheese (Μαρμελάδα φράουλας με τσίλι και τυρί τσένταρ)

Remember the good old wine and cheese days? There was always a bunch of grapes on one side of the platter, and most times a selection of nice crackers to go with the range of cheeses which always included camembert, while the wines being served invariably carried French names. This was my first introduction to pairing cheese with fruit. I was also a great fan of a salad served at the Victoria University student cafe, consisting of green apple slices with grated cheese. This salad was served just like that, with very few other ingredients. The apple slices were never brown, suggesting that they might have been tossed in some lemon juice to stop them from browning. Watermelon and feta cheese is also a great favorite in the summer among Greeks. Another well known cheese-and-fruit combination in international cuisine is fig and salty cheese. I love this on wholemeal crackers, accompanied by some white wine.

strawberry chili jam and cheddar cheese toast
Strawberry chili jam is sold at the Philadelphia local market.
strawberry chili jam

I was recently given some strawberry jam from Philadelphia, which contained an unusual ingredient: chili pepper. "Try it with cheddar cheese on toast," my friend helpfully informed me. She was absolutely right; this taste has kind of grown on me now.

Thanks to Joy from PA for the lovely gift of strawberry chili jam and for introducing me to a new taste; and Petros from the UK for my favorite cheddar: Cornish Cruncher from M&S.

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