Column: Nut, fruit spreads add sweet flavor


Commentary by Mark LaFay

The Indiana State Fair has ended, and I am happy to report back that my team took home third place in the barbeque competition. The top three were close in points and it was an exciting awards ceremony, to say the least!

Our team incorporated several jams into our barbecue glazes, and this got me thinking about an often-overlooked condiment on charcuterie boards: nut and fruit spreads. Often, I think we get hung up on keeping savory with savory and sweet with sweet. In reality, savory components almost always magnify or enhance the sweet.

Here are a few yummy spreads to check out. You can find them in the cheese section of local grocers Joe’s Butcher Shop, Tasteful Times, Cork and Cracker, Old Major and other area locations:

  • Dalmatia Fig Spread: This is a staple item for every charcuterie board, made with figs from the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. This spread has a smooth texture with pops of crunch from the fig seeds. It is sweet but not overpowering. It goes great with nuts, crackers, brie, blue cheese, sharp cheddar and more.
  • B-Happy Peanut Butter: This crew started in Zionsville, making nut butters with wild flavor combinations. Their joy to the world is honey roasted peanuts, dark chocolate, white chocolate and dried cranberries. Spread it on crackers with apples or pears. They have several other flavor combinations. Browse to find one that suits you best.
  • Food For Thought Cherry Habanero: Tim Young started this brand about 25 years ago in Michigan, utilizing local ingredients. This is a tasty sweet cherry jelly that has a kick from habanero and red pepper flakes. It is fantastic with goat cheese, cheddar, brie, prosciutto and mild salami.