A year ago this day, Jonathan and I flew back from a week-long trip to Paris. It was our third time being there together, and like every time before, we spent the week eating cheese, drinking wine, and roaming the romantic streets of Paris. We didn’t just eat a lot of cheese, we ate A LOT of cheese. We visited the fromagerie and boulangerie every day. Around midweek, we were buying groceries at a grocery store, Marks & Spencer I believe (ever since a semester study-abroad in London, the British grocery store still has a special place in my heart so I had to stop even though we were in the city of gourmet food). We were picking up some prepared foods that we could keep in the hotel fridge for easy lunches and got to the cheese aisle. Unlike the creamy bries at the fromagerie, the grocery store had plastic-wrapped slices. Seeing the sliced Swiss, I suddenly craved the sweet, nutty cheese and we grabbed a pack. The Swiss ended up being a welcome addition to our cheese plates. We laughed that we were in the land of Cheese Heaven and were eating packaged Swiss, but it was good (we were also pretty close to Switzerland, so it was basically local, right?). We paired it with Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and of course Champagne.
I bought a wedge of Jarlsberg, a Norwegian cousin to the classic Swiss Emmentaler this weekend and was reminded of that trip. I didn’t realize that a year has already gone by since we were last in Paris. Of all things, it was Swiss cheese that reminded me of Paris! I knew this would make for the perfect Sunday Night Wine Club snack, and would complement an evening of reminiscing of those Parisian evenings sitting on the balcony sipping Champagne.
Since Jarlsberg has a slight nutty taste and pairs well with almonds, I decided to serve it with homemade almond crackers. There were a couple directions I could have gone with wine for this one. Jarlsberg’s buttery and nutty flavor means it pairs well with bold reds like Pinot Noir. Almonds are best with sparkling wines like Champagne or Cava. I went with something in the middle that would complement the flavors- a dry, balanced Chardonnay that is light enough not to overpower the almonds, yet buttery enough to match the flavors of the cheese.
I’m sharing my recipe for Gluten-free Almond Crackers below in case you want to make your own! I’m off to enjoy this Jarlsberg and reminisce about Paris. If you want to learn more about wine and cheese pairings, check out my recent post here.
Gluten-free Almond Crackers
- 1 1/2 c. almond flour
- 2 T. ground flax seed
- 1 egg
- 1/2 t. salt
- dash pepper
- olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Stir all ingredients together until a dough forms.
- Roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 1/8″ thick. Sprinkle the dough with almond flour if the dough sticks to the rolling pin.
- Use a knife to cut the dough into 2″ squares.
- Grease a baking sheet with olive oil. Place the crackers on the sheet and brush with oil.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.