Mostarda di Frutta (Spicy Mustard and Fruit Preserves)

See the RecipeTodd Coleman

Mostarda is not mustard. It is not sweet or acidic, not salty or spicy—at least, it's none of those things alone. It is made mostly of fruit, but is neither jelly nor jam nor dessert. It is closest, maybe, to a relish … but what a relish! It's confident stuff, best served with meats—its traditional counterpart is bollito misto, an assortment of boiled cuts—or cheeses that can take its sharpness. I ate my first bites of mostarda in the Italian town of Sant'Ambrogio di Valpolicella, spooned over milky Monte Veronese cheese. I'll never forget its delicious bite. It's a condiment that makes a meal. —Tamar Adler, author of An Everlasting Meal (Scribner, 2011)