Recently I attended the ballet performance of Romeo and Juliet. Yes, the classic, timeless, tragic story of forbidden love. I love the ballet; it’s both magical and beautiful to watch the drama, emotion and passion expressed through dance by these amazing performers. I was pleasantly surprised to receive the ticket from my friend Martha following her birthday luncheon.
So what happens when a food lover like me watches Romeo and Juliet? First, I’m brought to tears and then I think about… food. I own and read so many cookbooks that every now and then, or more often than not, something I had read will trigger my memory. “Romeo and Juliet”…. “Guava and Cheese”! I read that the combination of cheese and guava is also known as Romeo and Juliet; a perfect match!
I was introduced to this combination last summer. Goudacheese topped with sweet guava paste or guava jelly/marmalade. Guava tastes like a mix of strawberry and mango. Its sweetness is similar to any jam or jelly; the fruit is cooked down with sugar and formed into a jelled paste or marmalade.
The type of cheese varies by individual preference and heritage. I’ve mostly had it withGouda; however, cream cheese and a Brazilian cheese called Minas are also popular. Guava topped on cream cheese for a dessert plate reminds me of a deconstructed cheesecake. For breakfast, guava marmalade lightly spread on toast with cream cheese or for appetizers, served with crackers.
I took it one step further and made it into quesadillas. Totally yummy!! Gouda melting with the guava paste; the cheese mellows out the sweetness of the guava. Serve with a nice green salad to compliment the flavors and balance out the sweetness. Or serve as a dessert quesadilla with a drizzle of pureed guava sauce and a sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar!!
Guava and Gouda Quesadillas
Guava paste, sliced thin
Gouda Cheese, shredded
Heat a large cast iron pan or griddle with a light coating of olive oil. On a cutting board or cookie sheet, lay the tortillas flat and sprinkle cheese on 1 half of each tortilla. Place thin slices of guava paste on top of cheese. Amount of cheese to guava varies on your personal preference. I like a balanced amount of both cheese to guava, about ¼ cup of each; just not too thick. Fold the tortillas in half and place on heated pan. Cook until lightly brown, about 2 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the quesadilla and continue to cook until browned and cheese/guava is melty and gooey. Allow to rest a few minutes before cutting and serving to firm up the cheese.