One of the more interesting samples I received just before New Year’s were these dried fruit crisps from Simple & Crisp. Founded in 2012 by Jane Yuan (@MissJaneJuan), former publicist and Seattleite.com editor, Jane had been making her own fruit crisps at home and decided to make a business of it after getting rave reviews from friends and family. Simple & Crisp says that the fruit is sourced from farms using sustainable and ethical practices. The only ingredients used are the fruit and citric acid, so they’re also gluten-free and vegan (although if you’re reading this blog, the latter is probably not a concern).
The flavors I was sent were the Apple, Pear, Orange and Blood Orange. I was headed to a New Year’s party with cheeses in tow, which presented the perfect opportunity to give them a test drive. I loved the way they looked on the cheese board, bringing a unique geometry and a bright splash of color alongside the cheeses and crackers. They’re tasty both on their own and paired with cheeses, meats and preserves; I tried them with Vacherin, Coupole, Blu di Bufala and Sternschnuppe. The blue cheese with the Pear was a big winner, as was the Apple with Vacherin and the alpine cheese, and all of them paired well with the Coupole. I found the Blood Orange slightly too bitter on its own; for that flavor, a pairing is recommended (I did try dropping it into a glass of bourbon with some bitters to great success). The Pear and Apple also worked nicely with a foie gras terrine.
Simple & Crisp are available online, or you can check their site for local availability. The site also features creative pairing ideas and more.