The Spicy And Sweet Condiment To Elevate Your Cheese Board

Cheese boards and their popularity have been trending for several years. Per Wisconsin Cheese, these beautifully put together boards are comprised of delicious curated cheeses, bread or crackers, and some type of spread; However, you may also find these cheese boards dotted with fruits, nuts, or savory olives. The possibilities are endless. It's the perfect option when sampling wine at a quaint wine bar or sipping on your favorite beet-infused vodka cocktail at an elegant cocktail party. But it can also be the focal point for those in need of a nibble at those book club gatherings. 

Culture Cheese Magazine says the idea of a plate all about cheese is a French concept. In fact, in France, a cheese plate often takes the place of dessert. The idea caught on in the 1980s and has blossomed right alongside our love for this dairy-rich food. Today, social media has propelled the cheese board into the photographic limelight. 

Ken Albala, a history professor at The University of the Pacific, told Business Insider, "For hundreds of years people have been doing cheese boards and charcuterie, but I think it has been part of the rise of the interest in do-it-yourself artisanal craft food. It's also very photographical." A quick search of photos on Instagram will back up Albala's claim. But, if you want to elevate your cheese board, you are going to want to try this sweet and spicy condiment.

Fruity and fierce

According to La Cucina Italiana, the fruity and spicy condiment your cheese board is missing is the beloved Italian mostarda. What is mostarda? A Family Feast says it is made with fresh and dried fruits and bathed in a "mustard-flavored syrup." The resulting taste is a sweet heat, and while originally it was served with boiled meats, mostarda pairs well against some of your favorite cheeses. The Cheese Connoisseur suggests trying a nice Chevre, Gouda, or Pecorino Romano with your mostarda.

La Cucina Italiana goes on to share there are several variations of mostarda. Mostarda cremonese uses a mix of whole fruits; Mostarda mantovana uses a single fruit; And if you are in the Veneto region of Italy, you will find mostarda is generally pureed into a spreadable jelly-like substance. Mostardas can be made with many different fruits, including apples, cranberries, and apricots (via A Family Feast). If you are making your own, be it a homemade grape and bourbon mostarda, or one more that is more traditional, Food 52 recommends giving it a few days to chill and set. The food site notes this sweet and spicy, fruity spread really needs this time to achieve the consistency, texture, and taste that is synonymous with this condiment.