On February 4, Andy Carson hung out with us at Portland specialty cheese and wine shop Foster and Dobbs, and showed thousands of viewers a few of the marvelous things pears pair well with. Beginning at 4:30 a.m. (eek!), pears were featured on Fox 12’s Good Day Oregon. Here’s a recap of some of mouth-watering pairings created by Foster and Dobbs’ own Luan Schooler:
Bosc Pears + Rogue River Blue Cheese
If you’re a blue cheese lover and this is the first time you’re learning of Rogue River Blue…you’re welcome. Each exquisite wheel is hand wrapped in grape leaves that have been bathed in, drum roll please, pear brandy. This cheese tasted incredible with the sweetness and subtle spice of Bosc pears, even at 4:30 in the morning!
Red and Green Anjou + Swiss and Gruyere Fondue
Here’s a shot of Luan whipping up some fondue. She used Swiss Emmental and Appenzeller Gruyere, and added Clear Creek Distillery Pear Brandy (notice a pattern with the pear brandy?), Erath Pinot Gris, lemon juice, and nutmeg. I’m no stranger to fondue, and this was by far the best fondue I’ve ever tasted. I hope this wasn’t a top secret recipe, Luan!
Green Anjou + Cypress Grove Fromage Blanc
Folks, amongst all of this deliciousness, this was my favorite pairing of the day. Cypress Grove Fromage Blanc is every bit as fresh and creamy as the company’s website suggests, and this goat cheese went PEARfectly with a nice, ripe Green Anjou pear.
There were many pairings that fateful morning, but the last one I’ll share with you involves chocolate. Normally I tend to shy away from chocolate sauces that involve any sort of alcohol. I’m not really sure why, but it may have had something to do with too much liqueur chocolates at some point in my early adulthood. Anyway, this pairing changed all of that for me. Luan fed us a dark chocolate Cognac sauce by Robert Lambert, who is an award winning cookbook author and chef, paired with a crisp Bosc pear. Microwave this sauce for 10-15 seconds and serve with any variety of pears and you’ll be the hit of any party. Granted, I have only used this sauce at parties in which I am the host and only attendee, but I stand by my “hit of any party” statement and firmly believe it will work in traditional party-like situations in which there is more than one guest in attendance. Try it for yourself and find out!