Jam and Cheese, Yes Please!
Bonne Maman were back with their 7th Annual Mother’s Day event in Sydney held this year at Darlinghurst’s exquisite Darlo Country Club.
Following the success of the event in previous years guests were treated to a fantastic afternoon of cocktails, canapés and 9 Bonne Maman Jam and Cheese pairings, matched by renowned Australian Cheese Educator, Sonia Cousins.
“Jam and cheese are delicious on their own, but it’s not until they’re properly matched together that they present their true flavour and transcend to a new level,” says Sonia.
Literally translating to ‘good mother’ in French, Bonne Maman is the epitome of great home cooking. Even today the jams are still made to their original recipe using the finest fruit, free from preservatives, colours or artificial flavours.
An smorgasbord of cheeses and Bonne Maman Jams were the showstopper of the event. Sprawled across a room-length table, wheels of cheese sat on boards, with their accompanying jam pairings arranged in stacks around them. It was here that Sonia let me in on a little secret of hers. “Forget the cracker,” she said. Slicing off a piece of Cantal, a cheddar-style variety, she spread it with a dollop of Damson Plum jam. You definitely get the full flavour of the cheese and jam pairing this way.
The match-making process.
In order to define the pairings Sonia tapped into her extensive taste memory of cheeses to find the right combinations. She explains, “I suppose it’s like a chef creating a new dish…you’ve got to put it together, season it and do the fine-tuning to know that it’s really spot-on.” Sonia relies on the 3-C’s of Tasting – Compare, Contrast and Clash – which are the principles of knowing if a flavour pairing works. “We want to avoid the 3rd C,” says Sonia. “Once you get a clash, move along, try something else, it’s just not going to work.”
During Sonia’s presentation we had the pleasure of trying a variety of cheese and jam pairings. Highlights included the Apricot Preserve paired with Fromage de Beaux – a classic partner of soft sweet fruit and delicate Brie cheese – and the Rhubarb Conserve paired with the wonderfully creamy ‘La Luna’ goat’s cheese made by Holy Goat (VIC). Sonia saved the best and strongest for last, combining Bonne Maman’s bold Orange Marmalade with an equally pungent Roquefort. She wasn’t sure it would work at first, “I would have assumed that the orange with the Blue Cheese would have been a massive clash because they are so bold.” She adds, “They have different characteristics and I think there was enough contrast there that the boldness didn’t matter.” Being a big fan of blue cheese I couldn’t think of a better way to finish!
Bonne Maman conserves, packaged in their world famous red-chequered jars, are available from $5.20 RRP for a 370g jar from all good retailers nationally.
Mum and I had such a wonderful time and we’d love to thank our friend @travel.lifestyleblog for the opportunity to guest-review.
Guest Blogger: Brendon D’Souza. Known by his pen-name Brendon The Smiling Chef, Brendon D’Souza is a Sydney-based freelance writer, photographer and food stylist who occasionally dabbles in singing and acting. Keep up-to-date with all his tasty adventures at www.brendonthesmilingchef.com, Brendon the Smiling Chef @bthesmilingchef @brendonthesmilingchef *all images from Brendon.