Sweet, Salty, Sour, and Savory? Try this Cheese Month Recipe for Figgy Delight!

It may be meatless Monday but don’t “Greve.” Today it’s your chance to enjoy delicious cheeses. This month is especially appropriate for cheese monger’s indulgence as across the U.S. the 3rd annual Cheese Month is being celebrated.

Think cheese is just a topping for burgers? These days Americans are spending in excess of $18 billion per year on an endless variety of specialty cheeses and it’s definitely not for just topping burgers. Greg O’Neil, president of the American Cheese Society and owner of Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine in Chicago told ABC news earlier this month that, “Cheese is the largest category of specialty food and there is a great interest in the producers, their stories, and their creations.” The farm-to-table concept is certainly catching on and you can see that reflected in the rise of domestic cheese sales. It’s not just about topping off a dish, it’s everything from the farmer’s story to the folks you buy it from. Consumers are looking for the full, local picture.

Across the country, small creameries and even large, traditionally profit-driven producers are experimenting with small-batch cheeses infused with locally-sourced ingredients, rich with unique flavors. Beware however, those rich flavors can come with quite the price tag. In fact, if you wish to journey into enjoying donkey or moose cheese, you’ll likely pay in excess of $500 per pound. That’s right, you can enjoy the fruits of a moose-milker’s labor if you’re visiting the Johannsons Hotel in Sweden or the cheese of 100 Balkan donkeys in the Zasavica Special Nature Reserve in Belgrade, Serbia.

In honor of Meatless, Moose-Milking Monday, I’ve included one of my favorite cheesy recipes below. I’ll admit, it’s nothing near as exotic as moose or donkey cheese, but I can guarantee it’s far more cost-effective. Rich with contrasting flavors, it’s a go-to I frequently enjoy.

Figs and Jar of JamIngredients

  • 2 slices pumpernickel bread
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fig jam
  • 1 granny smith apple in ¼-inch slices
  • Iberico cheese
  • Directions

    Begin by spreading the fig jam on the pumpernickel bread. Then layer apple and cheese. I have omitted a specific amount of apple and cheese as it’s personal preference how much to add. The sandwich can be served lightly toasted, grilled, or room temperature. Enjoy!

Chelsea B. Sanz
Chelsea B. Sanz

Chelsea Sanz has lived in East Tennessee since her family moved here from South Florida just before she started high school. While she initially begrudged her new home state, she eventually realized she had come to not only love it, but to “bleed orange” as University of Tennessee Volunteers fans here like to say. She and her boyfriend Hunter, a trail worker for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, enjoy exploring the nation’s most visited national park and coming up with their own farm-to-table recipes.

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