Paired! Humboldt Fog Cheese with Ficoco Spread

Have you ever heard of Ficoco? No? Well, let us introduce you then. Ficoco is a rich, dark spread made in Croatia out of figs and cocoa. It's lightly sweet, but full of flavor, and it is superb when paired with cheese. Here's our latest favorite pairing: Humboldt Blue Fog.

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Humboldt Fog, from Cypress Grove, is a pasteurized goat cheese with a pungent blue streak and an creamy yet assertive flavor that is wonderful in rich salads like this one, and just on its own too.

But it's also great with a pairing that can stand up to it, like Ficoco. We've been hearing about Ficoco for a while, but this was our first chance to taste it. It's not cheap - a jar was about $5.50 at Whole Foods - but still a small indulgence.

It's sweet, but nearly as sweet as we expected, with a deep richness from the figs. The cocoa comes in the aftertaste, with a tangy brightness of light chocolate. It has those nubby little fig seeds that crunch, too. It's totally delicious smeared over a cracker with a wedge of cheese like Humboldt Fog. Try it as a decadent appetizer, or as a good conclusion to a spring meal. You won't miss dessert at all if you substitute a cheese and spread like these.

What's your favorite thing to pair with goat cheese, and have you ever tried Ficoco?

• More about Ficoco: Ficoco website, with recipes for things like Figgy Rice Pudding and Ficoco Red Wine sauce.

• More about Humboldt Fog: The Cheesemonger meets The Winemonger: A Cheese and Wine Pairing Primer

(Images: Faith Durand)