It might sound a little odd at first, but the sweetness of the fruit and the bright tang of the mustard make mostardas a perfect combination with a lot of cheeses. We have sourced one of the most authentic sets of mostarda we could find from an agriturismo in the Northeastern part of Italy, named Senga. A working farm, all of the fruits used to produce their mostardas are grown on the property, and then crafted by hand.
The process of cooking Italian mustard during the summer time in Mantua is ancient and still very common, arising from the desire to give fruits and vegetables a longer life, no different than canning or pickling.
Beside excellent fruit and vegetable you need few ingredients, but more importantly you need time. A full four day process, starts with macerating the fruit and allowing the sugar added to the fruit to melt slowly and wraps each piece of fruit for many hours. The family then separates the liquid from the fruit and allow it to boil and reduce for several hours. The syrup is then added back to the fresh fruit and let to sit over night. The process is then repeated for the next four days, allowing the fruit to absorbs its sweetness and slowly softens. At the end of this process, when the fruit and syrup are cool the mustard essence is added.
A perfect complement to simple meats, but it is truly the star with cheeses. Any kind of cheese, aged or fresh, savory or sweet, cow or goat, find an appropriate combining with the different spicy tastes of Mostarda. The first time I tried a mostarda I had the pear spread on a simple grilled cheese sandwich and I may never be the same again.
We have three different mostardas from Senga:
Pear – This is the most appreciated by those who love traditional Mostarda. Beside meat and cold cuts, it can be served with Parmesan, Asiago, and Comté.
Fig – Amazing! Whole fruits are soft with a juicy and spicy heart. A delicious combination with Salame or with fresh blue, Burrata, or Mascarpone cheese.
Strawberry – Hands-down my favorite. Only the small, juicy fruits are used to create a unique taste featuring whole berries, perfect with aged and semi aged cheeses, like tre numeri Parmesan.
I would suggest you try them all and see what fits your palate, but these are for sure an item that you don’t want to miss on your next cheese board or sandwich.