Paola Calciolari began her career as a pharmacist but her true passion was food. She took a gamble, leaving her secure job in order to produce typical condiments from Mantova (Emilia Romagna), often employing her grandmother’s recipes. And we’re glad she did. She makes her exceptional mostardas and compotes by sourcing locally harvested fruit, and slicing and candying them in their juices; it is a highly labor intensive process. They are extraordinarily fresh, flavorful and chunky. Though often paired with cheese, they also work well with roasted meats and charcuterie.

This chunky, dense, irresistible compote pairs balsamic vinegar and sour amarena cherries, which bloom and grow once a year. While it is divine with fresh cheeses or roasted duck, we love using it for dessert. It pairs perfectly with chocolate or vanilla ice cream. 6/7.85oz

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