Chef Regi Hise
Nestled in the rolling hills of Southern Wisconsin, Roth Käse's chalet factory houses a Swiss-made copper vat for the traditional production of Gruyère. We use time-honored recipes and the freshest local milk to craft our cheeses. Our cellar master and his team meticulously tend to the cheese throughout the curing process to insure that each cheese that leaves our care meets our highest expectations. This commitment to excellence has earned Roth Käse cheeses over 100 awards in regional, national and international competitions over the past decade.
Harvest Song Artisinal Preserves
I have spent much of my life educating people about cheese, primarily chefs and trade professional in the food industry. I often present programs on cheese trends, the most noteworthy being a renaissance of artisinal, farmstead ands specialty cheeses from cheese makers in the U.S. , and the resurgence of the "Cheese Course" on today's menu. Historically fresh and dried fruit and nuts have been traditional accompinaments to cheese courses. The fruit portion of this equation has evolved to include preserves and fruit compotes that now take their place next to many cheeses on cheese courses.
Over the years I have seen hundreds of cottage industry food people go into the jam, jelly, and preserve business. So many that I didn't think there was room for any more. As soon as I tasted Harvest Song Preserves, I knew I was wrong. I have used every single one of Sylvia's preserves with various cheeses, and they just love each other. As I travel much of the world with my own cheeses, cutting boards and knife kits, I have another kit that always travels with me, a kit full of Harvest Song Preserves. Everywhere I go people are amazed at how well these preserves pair with cheese.
On a recent trip to the Bahamas we presented passed appetizers and a finish cheese course for a winemakers reception and dinner at the famous Graycliff Restaurant. The meal featured U.S. Cheese, Meat, and California wines, and the Bahamas Culinary Team prepared the menu. Proceed from tickets sold for the reception went to raise funds for the Bahamas Culinary Team for their upcoming trip to the culinary Olympics in Germany. Since I was preparing the cheese finish course I felt great pressure to make the course rise to the same level of excellence as the rest of the menu prepared by the Culinary Team. Even though the cheeses were outstanding, the condiments served with them put them over the edge, and they stole the show. Everywhere in the world I have taken Harvest Song preserves, they have opened eyes, minds, taste buds, and doors.
I often refer to Pinot Noir as a Chameleon of wine, paring well with almost any food. If there is a chameleon preserve that goes with most all cheeses it is the Harvest Song Apricot. I think you would have a hard time finding a cheese it doesn't go well with!
Even though apricots pair well with many cheeses, they have a special affinity for well aged hard cheeses. As they age, hard cheeses develop rich, buttery, nutty flavors that are sometimes accented with a slight fruitiness in the background. When you first taste these preserves, you will see that no other apricot, fresh or dried can compare with them. Intense Apricot aromas and flavors of Apricot will invade your senses. When a taste of the cheese is followed by a touch of apricot paste, it contrasts the rich, nutty flavors from your palate, and compliments the slight fruitiness in the background flavors of the cheese.
- Parmagiano Reggianno
- Gran Padano
- American Grana
- Monterey Dry Jack
- Petite Basque
- Gran Queso
Apricot & White Cherry
The intense flavors of Apricot are softened by the sweet White Cherries, and together they pair well with many different cheeses.
- Cream Cheese
- Fromage Blanc
- Baby Swiss
- Emmental (Aged Swiss)
Pear & Apple
Blue cheese and pears are a quintessential combination as are Cheddar with apples. Likewise, the pear and apple preserves pair very well with a wide range of Blue Cheese and well-aged Cheddars. The crisp, clean flavors of apples and pears cut through the bold assertive flavors of these cheeses, leaving the palate fresh and clean. Pear and Apple preserves are also perfect accompaniments to fondue, fonduta, and Welch rarebit. One of my favorite ways to use them is as a side dish to accompany an old fashioned Mac n cheese made well-aged Cheddar.
- Blue D Auvergne
- Hubbardston Blue
- Buttermilk Blue Affinee
- Red Spruce 4 Year Cheddar
- Cabot Bandaged Cheddar
- Mature English Cheddars
Throughout cheese history Mediterranean cheese lovers have often paired fresh and dried figs with different cheeses. They are often used with hard cheese and are excellent with any of the hard cheeses I listed for Apricot preserves. However one of my favorite combinations is one I was tasted with Mary Kheen from Cypress Grove Cheese. She served fig preserves with a wide range of goat cheeses including fresh chevre, ripened and hard. The slight earthiness of Golden Figs preserves compliments the unique flavors of goat cheeses and went perfectly with every style she served. My favorite was with a well-ripened Humboldt Fog.
- Hard Cheeses
- Fresh Chevre
- Humboldt Fog
- Midnight Moon
- Truffle Tremor
Tea Rose Petals
This is one the most amazing and unique aromas and flavor you may ever experience in your life. When I introduce people to them I first open the jar and let them smell the rosy aroma that totally penetrates their senses. Then, when they taste them they cannot believe how intense and rosy the flavors are. They do not taste as biter as most flower petals. They don't taste like flowers, they taste like roses. For portioning them, you don't need a spoon, tweezers will do since a tiny amount of these Tea Rose Petals goes a long way.
These things are the dream makers. Every time I have ever sampled these to a chef, I see dreams and visions in their eyes. To a chef, they always seem to have a unique and clear vision of a way they want to use them. I was recently doing a cheese tasting with a famous Swiss Chef. We had just tasted a Gruyere Surchoix that was about 2 years old. It was an incredible cheese and almost brought tears to his eyes. A few minute later,, I introduced him to these Tea Rose Petals. After one whiff of the aroma and a tiny taste of one rose petal he dashed off to a different part of his kitchen. When he returned he brought a bottle of White Truffle Oil with him. He put a few drops of the truffle oil into a small spoon of rose petals and mixed them together. He then asked me to taste the Gruyere and finish that taste with his concoction. That almost brought tears to my eyes. The slight earthiness of the truffle oil softened the sweetness of the Rose Petals and made balance perfectly with the earthy, nutty Gruyere. This is an incredible combination. They way it finally ended up on his menu was a salad of mixed green with a Rose Petal and Truffle Oil Vinaigrette, topped with shredded Gruyere.
- Gruyere Surchoix
- Fontina Val D" Aosta
- Brie, Camembert
- Petite Les Frere
Baby Black Walnuts
I grew up on a farm with black walnut trees and I love Black Walnuts, so I knew I would like these. The sweet, nutty flavors of walnuts and even chestnuts came through. With the baby walnuts, the husk and shell are also part of the experience, and the slight crunch is also reminiscent of the crunch of a roasted chestnut.
My favorite cheese pairing for the walnuts is with Blue Cheese. As pears are quintessential parings with Blue Cheese, walnuts also have a great affinity for Blue cheese. Cooked in simple syrup, the sweetness contrasts the salty, intense, blue flavors and clears them from your palate.
These walnuts also pair well with Fresh or Soft Ripened Chevre. One recipe I recently served as a passed appetizer was a Chevre, Blue & Walnut Napoleon. It was stunning! The walnuts were also outstanding in a quick version of Baklava I made with Apricot preserves and sliced walnuts. Last but not least, don't waste the leftover syrup in the jar. It is a simple syrup with a nutty note that I use to season many desserts and pastries. For an incredibly unique Baklava, instead of honey, brush the phyllo dough with this walnut syrup. It's also great over ice cream sundaes!
- Any Blue Cheese
- Fresh or Soft Ripened Chevre
Other Things you Must Try!
Yogurt is very popular in today's lifestyle and the breakfast of millions. For all the delicious flavors and health benefits related to yogurt, if you want a fruit variety they are most often too sweet, loaded with fruit flavors, but little fruit. If you want a perfect blend of fruit and yogurt, put a spoon of almost any Harvest Song preserve in the bottom of a cup, top with your favorite yogurt, and then top with another small spoon of preserves. With tons of fresh fruit, minimal sugar, and no pectin used in their production, the intense fresh fruit flavors are allowed to be themselves and make a perfect, natural, healthy fruit yogurt.
Life is short and sometimes you should eat dessert. Accordingly, we often kick off wine & cheese receptions by serving guests a dollop of Mascarpone on a warm ginger snap biscuit, fresh berries, and a welcoming glass of Champagne or Sparkling wine. While they still have some Sparkling in their glass we take them on to nice ripe Brie served simply on French bread coins. On one occasion the Sparkling Wine they sent us was not what we ordered. It was cheap, poor quality, and extremely dry. So dry that it got into a fight with the cheese and they did not pair well together. Instead of putting a strawberry or raspberry in the flute with the Champagne, I put a very small amount of Apricot and Peach Preserves and a tiny amount of Tea Rose Petals in the bottom of a Champagne flute. When the Sparkling Wine was poured over the top of the fruit, it's bubbles brought the fruit into the drink and it was absolutely delicious with the cheese. I am not a mixologist, but I quickly became famous for this Sparkling cocktail. Morning, noon or night, people love it! For those preferring non-alcoholic beverages it also works well in sparkling water, especially San Pellegrino.