Suggested Jam & Cheese Pairing ~ A Guide
When pairing jam and cheese look at the whole picture. Consider all the possibilities before deciding on a limited few. You may be serving your jam and cheese pairing with wine, additional fruits, maybe Black Walnuts or Smoked Almonds, Artisan bread, and fresh basil or ginger. Sometimes less is more.
Keep in mind that your goal is to offer tastes that complement one another, not overpower one another. It should be a thoughtful, sophisticated adventure for your palate not a college frat party for your mouth.
When purchasing a gourmet jam or marmalade give thought to an appropriate pairing cheese. To be clear, pairing jam and cheeses of similar cost and quality will result in a more palatable experience.
Serve your cheese with its accompaniment rather than mixed together. Jam should not be poured over the top of your cheese. You and your guests should be able to enjoy the cheese itself, as well as the jam. Then enjoy them together in a combination that suits their personal tastes. Offering additional accompaniment is welcome, such as preserved meats or smoked fish. Choose with thought.
Choosing a few key items that support the nuances of your cheese and jam will ensure a memorable experience.
Acquiring the highest quality cheese is an important part of the process. Once you have chosen the cheese which to build your paring on it is imperative to engage it with a discerning jam such as LunaGrown.
A sophisticated cheese paired with LunaGrown Jam is certain to bring you great pleasure. Enjoy our suggested cheese and jam pairing suggestions below.
Bold cheeses pair well with strong flavored jams. The opposite is also true: mild cheese unite well with subtly flavored jams. Avoid domination of one flavor over another. Your goal is to achive the magic that happens when good flavors compliment each other.
If you are serving your jam and cheese pairing with accompanying wine or artisan beer, and are not a connoisseur ask questions of the purveyor. A bit of guidance from the maker is always helpful when creating the pairing experience you had in mind as well as the atmosphere you are creating.
When serving jam and cheese it is best to chill your jam as well as the serving dish(es) or cup(s) the jam will be going into, this will help to keep the jam firm for a longer period of time while it sits out, as well keeping it fresh in appearance and flavor.
It is also wise to avoid double-dipping, or spooning jam onto your cheese and allowing the same spoon to go back into your jam jar. Cheese is a living culture that can be introduced to your jam in this matter, thus often shortening the shelf life of your jam product. For optimal enjoyment always serve your jam product from a separate serving dish. You can always add more.
A PDF printable version of the above pairing chart is available here: Jam & Cheese Pairing Guide
If you are not a wine connoisseur ask questions and find out what wines would best suit the pairing you had in mind as well as the atmosphere you are creating. Or see our suggestions here: LunaGrown suggested Wine and Jam Pairings
We also offer guidelines on Pairing Beer and Jam! Now that's Bold!
When serving Jam and Cheese as a pairing it is best to chill your jam as well as the serving dish or cup the jam will go into, this will keep the jam firm for a longer period of time while it sets out as well as keeping it fresh in appearance and flavor.
Discover more about Jam, Cheese and Wine Pairings for your next Social Gathering by reading our helpful guide.
Be creative and Share the Smile!
A few cheesy facts
What's the difference between sheep's, goat's, and cow's cheese?
"The difference between the three kinds of milk is their composition or structure. The milk has different protein structures, different fatty acids, and different butterfat contents. This is part of the reason that each milk, when it becomes cheese, tastes different from the others. There are other factors too, including how each animal metabolizes what they eat. That translates directly to the milk. For example, goats don't metabolize carotene the way that cows do. As a result, goat's milk remains snow white in color, while cow's milk has a yellowish or sometimes orangeish hue."
Which types of milk are used for aged cheeses?
"When it comes to aging, some milk lend themselves to aging longer than others-that is, cow's and sheep's milk cheeses tend to be aged longer than goat's milk cheeses because of their structure. However, there are at least three California goat cheese producers who are making long-aged goat's milk cheeses. Those cheeses are extremely flavorful-nutty, caramel-like, and yet fruity. Still, they tend to be more dry and crumbly than their cow's and sheep's milk cheese counterparts."
-Laura Werlin, The All American Cheese, and Wine Book
What makes blue cheese blue?
"A beneficial mold called Penicillium Roqueforti. A cousin to the penicillin that fights infection in people, it gives a wonderful flavor to the cheese, and protects against any undesirable molds and bacteria."
Why is one cheese soft, like a Brie, and another cheese firm, like Parmesan?
"Milk is made up of many nutrients, among them a protein called casein. During cheese making, milk is fermented by a collection of beneficial bacteria we call a starter culture. Enzymes released by the starter culture change casein, milk protein, in a process called proteolysis. This controls whether a cheese is soft or firm. How well and how long you heat the curds, how you manipulate the curd, and the kind of rind you cultivate also have some influence, but for the most part you need to choose the right starter culture for the right kind of cheese."
Is "raw milk" cheese safe?
"If cheese is made with raw milk and aged over 60 days, as required by Federal Law, it is as safe as a cheese made with pasteurized milk. Of course, you only want to eat cheeses made by professional cheesemakers that are regularly inspected, whether raw or pasteurized. The reason raw milk, which in rare cases can carry organisms that make you ill, is safe in cheese aged over 60 days is because cheese is cultured. Beneficial bacteria are added to the cheese which wipes out all competition and protects their turf, much like gangs. After 60 days, any unwanted bacteria have been vanquished."
-Dan Strongin, Edible Solution (www.ediblesolution.com)
*A Few Cheesy Facts reprinted from Exploratorium