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)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.