Cheese plates are one of the easiest, yet most elegant (and delicious), ways to delight your family and friends, and they are a tried-and-true staple for hosting a social event. I developed a Cheese and Jam Pairing Chart for the MN Cheese Festival a while back which highlighted some of the most popular cheese and jam pairings of HeathGlen’s preserves with various cheeses, crackers and charcuterie. The particular flavors of the jams shown below are specific to HeathGlen’s Kitchen, but similar jams from elsewhere can easily be substituted.
It was really fun putting this cheese and jam pairing array together because I got to try so many scrumptious combinations. My husband walked in the kitchen towards the end of the photo taking and, while the place was a huge mess, the array of textures and colors and smells was quite compelling to him. He surprisingly said, “that is some good looking food”, and proceeded to gobble up the leftovers. The husband is a fairly taciturn type of guy, so hearing these words expressed so strongly was quite a surprise. I think this will be our opening spread at Thanksgiving (or Christmas, or any celebration really).
Other great items to include on your cheese trays might be nuts, honey and carmelized onions. Wine and cheese pairings are a subject unto their own, and there are many resources to help you with that end of things. Just google cheese and wine pairings and you will quickly be overwhelmed by information.
A Cheese and Jam Pairing Chart (featuring HeathGlen jams):
Here is a chart with some ideas of great (and tested) cheese and jam pairings. It doesn’t have the actual photos of the pairings, but it defines the types of cheeses in a different way, which may be easier to take ideas from.
Hopefully these Cheese and Jam Pairings will be useful to you in putting together cheese plates for any celebration or event. If you are interested in any of the specific jams I list, they can be found here at my online store.