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Dec 27, 2009 07:30 AM

Panforte, Fig Cake and the like; searching for yummy cheese accoutrements

I received all sorts of yummy cheeses, Manchego, Mahon, Cheddar with cranberry, dolce gorgonzola. So far I have served them with things like local honey and homemade candied walnuts, homemade sweet smoked almonds, membrillo (quince paste), but I am looking for other things such as fig cake, Panforte, guava paste (ideally fresh made), moustarda.

Any additional ideas?

What about crackers, walnut breads, etc?

Are there any local great tastes that just wowed you and where. I got the membrillo at Whole Foods. I've had an okay fig cake from TJs, I've purchased guava paste from Vallarta in the past, it was pretty sweet though. I prefer locally made items.


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  1. There's good mostarda at Bay Cities Deli on Lincoln Blvd in Santa Monica.

    1 Reply
    1. re: aventinus

      The Armenian/Russian audienced Jon's sometimes have a drier/less sweet quince (than the Latin American style) paste, from Spain, I think, at a price somewhat less punishing than Whole Foods.

    2. Village Bakery in Atwater has the best Panforte I've ever tried. They make it fresh there and it is moist, intense and full of spice...perfect with some non-wimpy cheese.

      I believe they usually carry the Panforte from Village at Silverlake Cheese if that is easier for you.

      The Village Bakery & Cafe
      3119 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039

      2 Replies
      1. re: scurvy

        hooray! i've been looking for reason to go there!

        1. re: foodforus

          I just picked up some - really amazing taste!

      2. You can buy fig jam at whole foods to have with brie or many cheeses, or you can make your own from dried figs. if you buy the cortas fig jam at armenian shops it is great but very sweet, you have to top it with lemon pepper to have it work with cheese.

        I have not tried it, but many ehtnic markets (armenian/russian) have a dried apricot paste. I think that would be interesting. And you could also plump raisins or cranberries in booze to have with the cheese...

        In the meantime, enjoy your wonderful gifts!

        2 Replies
        1. re: happybaker

          Bristol Farms also sells that Dalmatia fig spread, and it's wonderful on crisp breads with Fromager d'Affinois.

          For guava preserves: nothing better than the kind of non-gummy cream cheese sold in Cuban markets and restaurants y un café cubano. I'm supposed to be in Miami right now and wish I'd made the trip.

          1. re: Harry Nile

            We are close to a Bristol Farms, and their cheese dept is always well-stocked with most of what the OP is looking for. The folks behind the counter are always friendly and helpful, and they always have a fair amount of cheeses out for sampling - usually nothing exceptionally expensive or unusual. But on our last visit a couple of weeks ago, they did have an Australian Bleu with some orange blossom honey and cracker bread.

        2. Another delicious idea to cut into triangular pieces & serve with a soft creamy cheese dollop on top would be the Apricot Leather available in many Armenian & Middle Eastern Grocery Stores. This is a thicker & less cloying version of what is known to kids as "Fruit Rolls". -JET