Vermont-based Gourmet Purveyor of Cheese Companions conserves and honeys, launches new Cheese Companions gift boxes that are perfect for gourmet gifts for the foodie, stocking stuffers, or hostess gifts.
Barre, Vt., July, 2016 – Blue Valley Gourmet, a Vermont-based company known for its line of conserves exclusively designed for cheese pairings, brings a European-inspired twist to this holiday season with the introduction of several new products perfect for holiday gift-giving.
"We are launching an "Original" Cheese Companions® Gift Trio Box of fruit conserves. In France, where I was born and raised, we don't have lunch or dinner without cheese." said Christine Sawyer, founder of Blue Valley Gourmet (bluevalleygourmet.com). "But in the U.S., serving fine cheese is more of an occasion. I created Cheese Companions to elevate the experience for people to savor the nuances of pairing cheese with other flavors from fruit, spices, herbs and honeys."
Blue Valley Gourmet's Cheese Companions are fruit conserves and specialty honeys inspired by popular cheese pairings throughout the world. Cheese Companions differ from traditional preserves and jams as they are less sweet, with spices and a bit of lemon juice to balance the fat of the cheese. Each combination, with its blend of of savory, fruity, and slightly acidic flavors, complements specific types of cheeses, with each lid providing the ideal pairing suggestions.
"Our flavors are rooted in tradition, from the Basque country and its tradition of offering cherry preserves with cheese, to Greece and its tradition of thyme honey paired with cheese," said Sawyer. "We spent more than six months traveling the world researching various cheeses and spreads, ultimately developing our first flavors, which feature a variety of fruits, lemon juice, and a special blend of spices. We chose to have conserves less sweet than jams, because jams are simply too sweet for cheese!"
The "Original" Trio Gift Box includes a selection of three Cheese Companions flavors, to match a range of cheeses from mild to sharp: Blueberry Chocolate, Cherry Thyme and Pear Ginger, which complement goat cheeses, gouda and soft alpine cheeses and blue cheeses, respectively.
The Trio Gift Box is a great gift for the foodie, or a perfect hostess gift for holiday parties, and priced at less than $25. Additionally, Cheese Companions offers each jar sold individually, ranging in price from $5.95 to $7.99, making them ideal gifts for stocking stuffers or Secret Santa gift exchanges. For the true foodie who loves small batch, local products, the Cheese Pairing of the Month Club is the perfect gift with a cheese board and knife, and monthly selections of a locally-selected Vermont cheese, a jar of Cheese Companions to complement the selected cheese, crackers, and the story of the local cheesemaker (3-month club subscription, $149).
ABOUT THE COMPANY:
Founded in 2015 by Christine Sawyer, Blue Valley Gourmet specializes in Cheese Companions®, a line of honeys and fruit conserves with recipes made specifically for cheese pairings. The company's motto is "We want to "wow" you!", and aims to bring the best cheese pairing traditions from around the world, to the American cheese lover. The company strives to partner with local Vermont cheesemakers, and also uses organic spices and local ingredients whenever possible, without compromising flavors.
Owner, Blue Valley Gourmet
110 Birchwood Park Drive, Barre, Vermont 05641
ABOUT BLUE VALLEY GOURMET
Founded in 2015 by Christine Sawyer, Blue Valley Gourmet specializes in Cheese Companions®, a line of honeys and fruit conserves with recipes made specifically for cheese pairings. The company's motto is "We want to "wow" you!", and aims to bring the best cheese pairings traditions from around the world, to the American cheese lover.
Born and raised in France, Sawyer moved to the U.S. to pursue branding and marketing, settling in Barre, Vermont. After spotting a few varieties of French-made jams at her local grocer that were sold as cheese pairings, Sawyer's marketing expertise sparked an idea to create a local product to pair with cheeses produced locally in Vermont. Sawyer decided to develop a new line of preserves and conserves specifically crafted to complement the most popular cheeses available in the U.S. market. She spent more than six months traveling the world researching various cheeses and spreads, sampling every jam for cheese she could find throughout France, Quebec, Greece and Spain. Then she got to work in the kitchen.
Sawyer, always felt traditional jams were too sweet for cheese pairings so she began experimenting with different varieties of fruits and spice blends, adding just enough acidity (in the form of lemon juice) to balance the fat of the cheese. After months of recipe testing, the first three Cheese Companions varieties were complete. In 2016, the company added a dried fruit conserves and several varietal raw honeys to the product line.
Today, Blue Valley Gourmet's Cheese Companions are available at local cheese shops, select retailers nationwide and online via www.bluevalleygourmet.com.
WHAT MAKES US UNIQUE
LOCAL/SMALL BATCH/ARTISAN PRODUCTS
Blue Valley Gourmet is dedicated to Vermont's local food movement. The company has partnered with the area's cheesemakers promote local, sustainable practices and opts for locally-sourced and organic ingredients whenever possible.
Cheese Companions are free of preservatives, using local and organic ingredients and spices for their superior taste whenever possible, including wild blueberries from Maine along with sour cherries and apples from upper New York State.
Why aren't all ingredients organic or local? Because the company's mission is to always put the quality of the ingredients first to ensure the "wow" factor in flavor pairings. That means that the best tasting apricot may not be from New England, and ginger isn't available locally. In short, Cheese Companions utilize other ingredients from afar when they are distinctively better. The perfect example is the raw honey collection featuring exceptional honeys from Spain and Greece.
Cheese Companions are a niche gourmet product. Unlike other companies that make jam and preserves that claim to work for breakfast toast and pairing with cheese, that's just not possible for the proper blend of acidity and sweetness. The Cheese Companions conserves are exclusively for pairing with cheese.
Companions are inspired by region-specific cheese-pairing traditions that date
back hundreds of years.
Some of these traditions include:
Cherry Preserves: Famous for its sweet Itxassou cherries and sheep’s milk cheese, residents of the Basque region, in the south of France have traditionally paired their cheese with local cherry preserves, noting how the delicate milk and buttery aroma of the cheese balances perfectly with the sweetness of the cherry.
Pear and Blue Cheese: Fat, salt and acid make for a great flavor combination. For that reason, pear and blue cheese are often paired in salads, tarts, or sandwiches. The blue cheese contributes the fat and the saltiness; the pear brings the sweetness and a bit of acidity. Add some sweetness by baking, caramelizing or roasting the pears or adding honey, and some nuts for the nice crunchy feeling, and you’re certain to get a delightful recipe.
Honey and Cheese: The harmony of balancing honey with the saltiness or sharpness of cheese has been known for centuries and crosses more borders than any other pairing. Cheese Companions honeys are varietal 100% raw honey. The varied and rich taste comes from the specific flower that the bees pollinate: thyme, orange blossom, and chestnut. This is very different from infused honeys that have added flavors.