Ohio’s Own: Bellisari’s Spreads
The Bellisari name carries many positive associations in Columbus, so seeing it emblazoned across the label of a bunch of jars at the grocery was eye-catching. Two of the jars even made it into the grocery basket, albeit with absolutely no idea of what exactly they were. They were jars, they had the Bellisari name on them, and they were made in Columbus. Sounds like a winner.
One jar ended up being Balsamic, Shallot & Black Garlic Spread. The back of the jar suggests it as part of a flatbread, the internet said to dump it on some brie. In the absence of either of those items, there is a spoon. Before the spoon, though, a lovely herbal flavor wafts up from an open jar. It’s a sea of soft minced shallots and garlic, gelled in a thick, piquant balsamic base. It’s pleasant, even straight up, but it’d work great as part of its suggested pairings, or even as a foil to grilled chicken or steak.
Then there is the Calabrian Pepper & Sweet Tomato Fennel Spread. The names on both of these spreads are impressively long. It’s not quite the same as offering someone marinara or mustard, for example. Like its predecessor, this one’s thick, but in more of a pulpy way, with a distinct complexity and sweetness. It’s sublimely sweet enough to make you expect added sugar, and that is on the label, along with the other things in its title. As for uses, the internet suggests adding it to pasta. I’m thinking it’s going to serve as a super awesome gourmet ketchup.
All the usage suggestions are found at bellisaris.com. It’s a website devoted to all things Bellisari, or at least, all jarred Bellisari things. There are other options to explore, such as burger sauces, with slightly less complex names.