Co-owners David Potash and Sarah Knoefler have been getting some attention of late for their Southpaw Kitchen hand-prepared, small-batch, jarred sauces made here in the city. We thought we'd give them a taste, and see how they went with cheese, specifically our favorite of the moment, Casa Madaio Caprotto, a firm, limited-production, goat-milk cheese from Italy.
Here's how they performed:
Red Wine, Port and Onion Spread: reminded us of a lightly sweet onion chutney. The port and red wine come through mildly, like the hint red wine leaves behind when used to deglaze a pan for sauce or gravy.
with the Caprotto: a reasonable pairing. Takes the cheese down a notch; the sweetness mutes and covers some of the cheese's fine grain and firm pepper flavor. It could be great on a high-end burger fresh from the summer grill.
Red Pepper Mostarda: like a slightly sweet/spicy aspic. The sweetness would likely present well against a firm, salty cheese.
With the Caprotto: a nice combination. The cheese isn't overpowered by the sauce and brings put the pleasant vegetal flavor of the peppers. Still, the two are better on their own.
Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce: your standard Thai peanut sauce. There's a subtle spice that builds slightly, but overall it's sweet.
With the Caprotto: No one, including Southpaw, recommends this as a cheese pairing, but we tried it anyway just for fun. The cheese actually intensifies the spicy elements of the sauce. Shave a firm Italian hard cheese over a dish prepared with this sauce to nudged up the spice a touch.