When we’re not hiking we’re usually eating. A lot. We’ve got a whole bunch of recipes in the pipeline that we can’t wait to add in the coming months. But after starting the Wander North Georgia Instagram, we quickly came across Unicoi Preserves, (@unicoipreserves), promptly began drooling at their photos, and decided we had to try their spreads as quickly as possible.
We sent them a quick message on Instagram and they told us where we could find them near us. Based out of Cleveland Georgia, they have their preserves in over 20 local shops and retailers – not to mention their placement in many of the Ingles across the North Georgia Mountains.
So while we’re not Europeans and don’t normally make a habit of eating cheese and crackers and olives for dinner, we decided to piece together a light dinner of crackers, cheeses, Unicoi Preserves and local honey from Blue Ridge Honey Company. Fittingly enough the same day we decided to give this a try, Unicoi Preserves posted an article to their Facebook page on How To Build a Simple Cheese Plate from Grocery Store Ingredients. While we’re not going to rehash that whole article, we’ll give you a quick run down of what we got and tell you how amazing Unicoi Preserves Vineyard Fire Spread was.
Our meal consisted of:
- Vineyard Fire Spread from Unicoi Preserves
- Blackberry Honey from Blue Ridge Honey Company
- Sea Salt Crackers
- Spreadable Goat Cheese from Ingles
- A small wedge of Brie from Ingles
- Four Roses Bourbon
The total cost for everything sans bourbon was $25-30. But the honey will last us for a month, we ate the Brie and goat cheese for a week, and only used half of the preserves so the cost of that one meal was somewhere in the range of $10-12 for my wife and I. The best part was, because it was a pretty healthy meal, we ate until we were completely full and didn’t feel like we overate or were left hungry. I’m not smart enough to figure out the math on the calories, but I know it had to be about half of what we normally would eat for dinner.
Unicoi Preserves makes four versions of their spreads: the Regular Vineyard Spread, The Vineyard Fire Spread, Georgia Apple Cider Spread, and Salted Caramel Peach Spread. We went with the Vineyard Fire Spread and it definitely had some kick to it due to the jalapeños in it. But if you like spicy, it’s just about perfect. And if you’re nervous about a jam or jelly being spicy, don’t be. It’s one of the best combinations out there and we fall in love with it whenever we find it.
The smell of the spread is intoxicating. Deep. Fresh. Sweet but not over the top fruity. Basically it doesn’t smell fake or like processed sugar. That’s because Unicoi Preserves doesn’t use any artificial sweeteners, coloring or flavors. They only use natural fruits and vegetables and you can definitely smell and taste that difference.
We also poured that Blackberry Honey on everything and it was amazing as well. We’ll save a review for them another day, but make sure you check out Blue Ridge Honey Company as well.
So whether you want to make a cheap dinner cheese plate or spread it all over a big Southern biscuit layered with bacon for breakfast or just pretend you’re European for a day, give Unicoi Preserves a try. It’s the perfect little thing to pack for a day hike and picnic for anybody passing through the mountains on the weekend and it’s a perfect staple for locals.
Keep an eye out for Unicoi Preserves on Instagram as they’re constantly putting up dinner ideas. For example, last week featured flat bread, peanut butter and jelly, candied bacon and more.