Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Spanish Fruit Breads and Cheese - A Perfect Pairing!

Chances are, if you’re lucky enough to be in Spain during the holidays and are invited to share a meal, you’ll be offered all sorts of traditional holiday sweets. Maybe some almond turrón or a few alfajores... but you also might be offered a slice from a large, solid round reminiscent of a wheel of cheese. However, this wheel is dark in color and more solid – it is comprised solely of dried fruit and nuts. Spanish “fruit breads” are the essence of sweet simplicity.

The “fruit breads” of Spain aren’t really bread at all, but a sweet compressed round of dried fruits and nuts that are eaten in slices. Fruit breads are most typically eaten around the holidays, but are also enjoyed year-round as a simple dessert or as an accompaniment to cheeses. Our Matiz Fruit Breads are made from figs and apricots paired with walnuts and almonds. We source our fruit breads from a family-owned Spanish company called Biovera. The Sanchez family cultivates fruit trees in La Vera, located in hot, arid Extremadura in central Spain.

Figs and apricots were originally brought to Spain by the Moors. These fruits are original cultivars of the Middle East and northern Africa, but were natural transplants to the desert-like climate of southern and central Spain. In fact, Spanish dates are the most northern dates grown in Europe. Figs are picked and dried in the fall months, preserving them for winter. Once these fruits are dried, their nutritional properties remain intact. Figs and apricots are high in fiber, and apricots are high in vitamin C.  They are an all-natural, delicious treat that you can feel good about!

This holiday season, may we suggest this “recipe” for a festive cheese course with fruit breads and other fine accompaniments from Matiz. !Buen provecho!

Matiz “Just Add Cheese” Course

Lay out an array of some of our finest Spanish cheese accompaniments, add a few good hunks of Manchego, Idiazabál or Mahón and your cheese course is complete!

Matiz Fig Bread
Matiz Apricot Bread
Matiz Date Bread
Matiz Picos and Tortas de Aceite
Matiz Quince Paste
Matiz Marcona Almonds
Dequmana Cured Olives
Matiz Piparras
Arvum Sherry Vinegar