Tips Pairing Jams and Jellies with Cheese

fruit jams
Fruit jams. Credit: Pixabay/jarmoluk

A Helping Guide for You to Serve the Best Cheese & Jam Pairings

Aren't cheese plates one of the easiest yet most delicious ways to delight your family and friends? Be it a small gathering or a big event; cheese dishes are a must, with several pairing options to choose from. But have you ever tried pairing jams or jellies with cheese plates? You must have heard about pairing cheese with wine or cheese with meat. And, now get ready to try your favorite cheese with jam pairings to take them to another level. Pairing sweet or tangy jams with cheese unlocks a whole new world of flavor! If you haven't tried them already, keep reading to find out more.

How Can You Serve the Best Pairing of Cheese and Jam?

Whenever you are pairing jams or jellies with cheese, think about the whole picture. Consider all the possibilities before selecting a limited few. You can serve your jam and cheese pairing with wine, bread toast, different fruits, fresh basil, or even ginger. 

Your goal is to offer tastes that should complement each other and not overpower one another. When you buy the next jam or marmalade bottle, give a thought to your appropriate cheese pairing. 

Serve your cheese with its accompaniment rather than mixing them together. Take care not to pour the jam on top of your cheese. Allow your guests to enjoy both the cheese and the jam separately first, and then let them try out combining them to suit their personal tastes. Offer additional items, such as smoked fish, grilled meat, or wine pairings to complement the cheese and jam. 

Toast and cheese slices
Toast and cheese slices. Credit: Pixabay/congerdesign

Your cheese will be the main delicacy of the evening. Make sure that you buy good-quality cheese. Always pair bold cheeses with strongly flavored jams. You can also try out the opposite – pairing mild cheeses with subtly flavored jellies. The magic will pour out when the good flavors start complementing each other.  

How will you choose the right jam for cheese? For this, you need to consider the composition of the cheese first, especially the milk it was made from. The intensity of a cheese flavor changes a lot depending on whether it is made with goat, cow, or sheep's milk. The same goes for freshness. Soft and fresh cheeses generally taste sweeter, whereas semi-mature and mature cheeses have intense flavors. 

Mature cheeses go well with sweeter accompaniments like jams made of plums, cherries, or pears. You can also try preserves made with raspberries, strawberries, or apricots. Similarly, fresh, softer cheeses go well with sour-tasting jams such as orange, lemon, or tangerine. 

Serve the cheese at room temperature. While preparing your board, arrange the different cheeses in a clockwise manner, starting with the most delicate cheese and ending with the most mature one. Each cheese tastes good with its own jam or marmalade. Serve the different preserves in separate bowls along with some homemade bread.  

It's best to chill your jam and the cup in which you will be serving it. This helps to keep the jam firm for long periods while it sits out, besides keeping it fresh in appearance and flavor.

Some Amazing Cheese and Jam Pairings You Should Try Out

Pairing cheeses, jams, and marmalades is not an easy task. You need to keep in mind the contrasting tastes of each item while serving them together. 

Peach jelly
Peach jelly. Credit: Pixabay/HomeMaker

Apple Jam – Mozzarella, Fontina, Grana Padano, or English Cheddar.

Pear Jam – Parmigiano Reggiano, Gorgonzola, or Roquefort.

Blackberry Jam – Stilton Blue, Triple Crème, Manchego, or Camembert.

Black Currant Jam – Spicy Blue Cheese, Feta, Parmesan, or Sharp Cheddar.

Plum Jam – Smoked Gouda, Goat, or Cream.

Apricot Jam - Grana Padano, Gran Queso, or Parmigiano Reggiano.

Blueberry Jam – Stilton, Manchego, or Goat.

Chipotle Jelly – Spicy Blue Cheese, Sharp Cheddar, Aged Parmesan, or Feta.

Cranberry Jam – Triple Crème, Camembert, or Brie.

Raspberry Jam – Cream, Brie, or Parmigiano Reggiano. 

Strawberry Jam – Cream, Brie, or Goat.

Orange Marmalade – Ricotta, Camembert, or Mascarpone.

These combinations are not written in stone and will depend much on your tastes because each of them has its merits. 


Cheese and jam pairings belong to classic Italian cuisine and are well known to complement each other. Cheese has zero sugar and hence finds its perfect partner in the sweetness of jams, marmalades, jellies, honey, and other dishes.