Enjoy Hickory Farms’ New Reserve Collection!

As the rest of the country is digging out from a long, frigid winter, you can bring a bit of summer’s bounty into your home with Hickory Farms’ gourmet food baskets from our new Hickory Farms Reserve Collection. We’ve highlighted a few of our favorites we’re sure you’ll enjoy.

Our Fresh From the Farm Gift Basket is full of delicious Red D’Anjou, Comice and Golden pears, delightfully crunchy Fuji and Granny Smith apples, wedges of our rich and creamy Triple Crême cheese and Apple Smoked Cheddar with Paprika. All these treats are tucked alongside a selection of salted and roasted cashews, almonds, mixed nuts and dried fruit.

 

Your indoor picnic awaits you with our All the Cellar’s Best basket. Sip on a glass of Clos du Bois Pinot Noir, which pairs sublimely with the aged dry salami, as well as the selection of seven different cheese varieties. Everything mingles nicely with the wine’s muted raspberry notes. When friends drop by unexpectedly, this is great to have on hand for no-fuss serving.

Spend an evening snuggling fireside with your sweetheart while enjoying the bounty of our Vineyards and Orchards Gift Box. Chill the bottle of Bogle Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc and nibble on slices of Fuji apple, Crown Comice and Red pears, as well as our new artisanal Classic Cheddar Cheese.

Cheese lovers will really appreciate our Slate Cheese Board Set. The hand-cut board is made from slate quarried in North America and crafted in Raleigh, N.C. It comes with two cheese knives designed for slicing and serving both creamy and hard cheeses, and we even include a soapstone chalk to label your tasting delights. This set makes a lovely and thoughtful hostess gift. Order two so you’ll have one for yourself!

Call 800.753.8558 or visit www.hickoryfarms.com to place your order today.

Cheese & Pears – Sweet and Savory Pairings

Source: Yumsugar

Topping a crisp, juicy pear with creamy cheese is a delicious and texturally-rich flavor combination. Whether you’re looking for a quick midnight snack or sophisticated hors d’oeuvres for your next dinner party, a cheese and pear pairing is a fun and sophisticated option. Perfect your pairings with these simple tips.

Start by becoming familiar with the flavor profiles of your pears. Comice pears, for example, are rich and creamy, featuring an almost custard-like texture with a strong, sweet flavor and a delightful scent. If you prefer a snack that’s light, crisp and refreshing, you may want to choose the smooth and slightly citrusy d’Anjou pear.

 

Source: Clubs & Gifts

After you’ve selected your pear, it’s time to find the perfect cheese. The first thing to consider is what cheeses have flavor profiles that will complement your fruit. Comice pears, for example, are so sweet that they benefit from just a little bit of salt. Try pairing your Comice with a salty, full-flavor cheese, like a Manchego. D’Anjous, on the other hand, work well with fresh, bright cheeses, such as feta. Golden pears, which are sweet and crisp, pair with anything from a strong blue cheese to a creamy aged cheese.

 

Source: Yumsugar

Another important factor to consider is texture. To create the most interesting pairings, go for textural contrast. Top your creamy Comice pears with Stiltons or Gorgonzolas that feature just a bit of crystal formation or a slightly grainy texture. Crisp d’Anjous go great with smooth and creamy cheeses, such as a fresh goat Chevre.

Finish your delicious treat with a beautiful presentation. For plated or pass around dinners, prepare your pears by slicing them thinly, topping each piece of pear with a slice of cheese and finishing with a sprig of rosemary or sage for color. For something less formal, spread your cheeses and pears on a platter and let your friends dig in.

 

With the delicious pears and cheese in our Hickory Farms gourmet fruit baskets such as our Slice of The Season Trio, you can easily enjoy this fantastic sweet and savory combination at any gathering.

 

Impressive Cheese Platters for Party Guests

Nothing gets the party going quite like the delicious combination of fruit, cheese and wine. By choosing complimentary flavors of gourmet wine and cheese, you’ll be able to make the perfect cheese plate. Wow your guests with a fantastic platter using these simple guidelines.

Source: Food Network

Start by selecting the cheese. This is where you get to be a little bit adventurous and have some fun. As a general rule, you want to pick between three and five different varieties and have two ounces of cheese per guest. Try mixing and matching cheeses with different flavors and textures to really keep your guests on their toes. Start with one blue cheese, one soft ripened cheese and one hard cheese, such as artisanal cheddar. Then, spice it up a little more by adding a fun or exotic cheese you’ve never tried before. Remove the cheese from the refrigerator at least an hour before serving.

Next, it’s time to add the accompaniments, starting with the fruit. Create a pretty presentation by rimming the platter with mixed slices of fresh fruit, including apples, plums, pears and peaches. Then pile on the dried fruits. Your platter should be filled with golden and dark raisins, dried apricots, cherries, dates and any other festive fruits you can think of. Finish by adding slices of baguette and wafer crackers, a mix of jams and chutneys and your serving utensils.

Source: What’s Cooking America

Finally, it’s time for, perhaps, the best part – the wine! To keep your gathering casual and fun, don’t worry too much about directing your guests in their pairings. Instead, stock a collection of whites and reds in both dry and sweet options and encourage your friends to dig in. The more combinations your guests try, the more fantastic pairings you’re going to find.

 

With these simple tips, you can make a gourmet fruit and cheese platter you and your guests will love to snack on. For a great starting point for your party, pick up a Hickory Farms Vineyards and Orchards Gift Box. With wine, cheese and fruit, you’ll have everything you need to begin an amazing platter.