Product Whore: Radici Chestnut Cream

Unless you were raised by wolves, everyone knows you must bring a hostess gift to a holiday party. The standard move is to bring a bottle of wine or a tin of your holiday baked goods. The well-mannered guest always brings something that the host or hostess can choose to use that evening or at a later date. Radici chestnut cream with oranges ($10) is one of my gifts of choice this season, paired with a 5.5 ounce tomme of Mt. Townsend Creamery's Cirrus, a mild and gooey camembert like cheese. The Italians freak over chestnuts, but the biggest complaint about them for American palates: texture. (Really, we just get crappy chestnuts.) Problem solved here, and the cream has a vaguely dulce de leche quality, with a less sugary taste and a pungent snap of orange, more flowery and zesty than expected. This spread deserves some stellar cheese or at least the most buttery pastry you can find. Go brioche for a cross cultural. Look for in specialty food stores (spotted recently at DeLaurenti and Whole Foods Roosevelt).

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