Fondue's Friends: Mostarda and Cogna

By Brett Kell & Christina Ward | December 01, 2014
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fondue

Although fondue is traditionally served with crusty bread and sometimes crudités, the remainder of its ideal accompaniments can vary widely. For a non-traditional spin, try mostarda, a condiment made of candied fruit in a mustard-based syrup, eaten alone or on bread. Because fondue is so rich and creamy, it benefits from the presence of mostarda’s sweetness and acidity. Words and measurements have been translated from the original Italian recipes.

Name: Mostarda
Flavors: Tart, bright, sweet, and acidic
Origin: Italy
Story: Although mostarda is by no means a traditional accompaniment to fondue, it’s often served with cheeses in its native Italy. The mustard base relates well to the savory flavors present in fondue and raclette, while the sweetness of the fruits used in both versions below cleanse the palate.

Cremona-style Mostarda

(Makes about 48 oz.)

  •  2 1/2 lbs mixed fruit (pears, cherries, figs, apricots)
  • 2 1/2 c. cane sugar
  • Mustard powder or seeds

Peel and chop fruit. Place in a ceramic bowl and cover with sugar. Let stand on counter/table 24 hours.

Drain liquid from bowl into a small sauce pan and bring to boil, simmer 10 minutes. Return boiled liquid to bowl of fruit. Let stand for 24 hours and repeat draining, boiling, returning procedure for five days.

On the fifth day, simmer both the liquid and fruits for 5 minutes. Add mustard powder or seeds (choose and adjust according to your taste). Pack into canning jars. Serve immediately, refrigerate for longer-term storage.

Mantova-style Mostarda

(Makes about 48 oz.)

  • 2 1/4 lbs quince (can substitute russet-type apple)
  • 2 1/2 c. cane sugar
  • Mustard powder or seeds

Peel and slice apples (or quince). Place in a ceramic bowl and cover with sugar. Let stand on counter/table 24 hours.

Drain liquid from bowl into a small sauce pan and bring to boil, simmer 10 minutes. Return boiled liquid to bowl of fruit. Let stand for 24 hours and repeat draining, boiling, returning procedure for three days.

On the third day, simmer both the liquid and fruits for 5 minutes. Add mustard powder or seeds (choose and adjust according to your taste). Pack into canning jars. Serve immediately, refrigerate for longer-term storage.

Cogna

To truly make real cogna, you need to use the juice/must from used wine grapes.

(Makes about eight 16 oz. jars)

  • 2 1/2 gallons grape juice
  • 3 1/3 lbs quince
  • 3 1/3 lbs pears
  • 3 1/3 lbs peaches (or plums)
  • 15 fresh figs (or 10 dried)
  • 3/5 lb walnut pieces
  • 3/5 lb toasted hazelnuts
  • 3/5 lb almonds
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 10-12 cloves
  • 2 1/3 inches of cinnamon stick

Boil grape juice and simmer until reduced by half. Add chopped fruits as follows: quinces, pears, peaches, figs, nuts. Put spices into spice bag, add to pot. Cook for about 4 hours, stirring constantly until thickened. Pack into glass jars. Refrigerate when cooled.

Article from Edible Milwaukee at http://ediblemilwaukee.ediblecommunities.com/recipes/fondues-friends-mostarda-and-cogna
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