Top Pick Of The Week

March 1, 2005
Updated October 2009

. .

Even gorgeous classic cheeses like this can be enhanced
with Palette cheese condiments. For the Colston Bassett
Stilton, Comté St. Antoine and Parmigiano-Reggiano above, we’d pair both Peppered Black Mission Fig Preserve and Spiced Quince Preserve. The cheese selection is available from

Pairing Cheese With Jam & Jelly: Preserving A Great Idea

EDITOR’S NOTE: We regret that this wonderful line has been discontinued. However, you can find other brands to pair with the recommendations below. Also see our cheese condiment pairing chart.


The brilliant minds at Palette Fine Foods have come up with another great idea. They’ve taken their scrumptious preserves, jam and jelly and repurposed them as cheese condiments.

Never has there been a more delicious set of multi-taskers in the pantry. We recently brought this set of five preserves (we’ll use that one word for simplicity) to a dinner attended by one of New York City’s most elite group of wine collectors. Dessert is always a cheese course, and when we set out the dishes of preserves, skeptical eyebrows were raised. Cheese is almost as sacrosanct as wine to these palates. Some elbows had to be twisted just to put a dab on their plates.

The outcome was total conversion, each jar of preserves scraped as clean as a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough. 

Matching Jam, Jelly & Preserves With Cheese

Let’s take a look at how they work in their multiple personae, as they glorify muffin to Manchego and more

  • Golden Raspberry Jam. A glorious golden spread with an intense raspberry flavor, this low-sugar jam is made from rare golden raspberries. It makes a delicious raspberry vinaigrette or a dipping sauce for shellfish. We love it with fresh goat cheeses.
  • Peppered Black Mission Fig Preserve. Figs, lemon thyme and a slight kick of pepper combine to enhance the stronger blue cheeses. Even a stolid Stilton will smile. We also like this preserve with duck and on an hors d’oeuvre or sandwich with pâté de foie gras or chicken mousse pâté. It also works on toast for people who want a sophisticated fruit spread.
Goat Cheese
Golden Raspberry Jam is delicious with a fresh goat cheese like this one, from The Mozzarella Company. The raspberries further compliment the herbes de Provence on top of the cheese.
Palette Purple Basil Jelly
Purple Basil Jelly can be melted as a dessert sauce to pour over a triple creme like Saint-Andre, camembert or brie.
  • Purple Basil Jelly. If this combination sounds strange, banish all concerns: it could be the star of the group. One taste will have jelly-makers running for basil jelly recipes and Mason jars. Purple basil, another rare ingredient, supplies the rich color. This exquisite jelly pairs well with cheeses and meats, but is equally supreme on an English muffin. We put it on cheesecake and sorbet, too. If you want a very simple yet very elegant dessert, serve a thin slice of a triple-crème cheese like Saint André with a sauce made of the melted jelly (add a teaspoon of lemon juice if you like). Put a few seasonal berries on the plate.
  • Sour Cherry & Lemon Balm Preserve. Lemon balm is a wonderful herb to pair with tart cherries. The whole cherries look beautiful atop a slice of goat cheese, young or old, or a triple-crème. Put your cheese atop wheatmeal crackers  or Gourmet Graham Crackers like our favorites from Tiny Trapeze or Starr Ridge (photo at right), and you have deconstructed the cherry cheesecake.
  • Spiced Quince Preserve. Quince with aromatic spices is a delightful alternative to membrillo, the smooth Spanish quince paste. Pair this preserve with aged Cheddar, Manchego, Parmesan and other firm, aged cheeses. And enjoy it on muffins, scones, toast and pancakes.

Read more about cheese condiments in our extensive look at the topic.

Buy this group of Palette cheese condiments with this caveat: they’re so good, they just might disappear from the jar before they ever hit the toast or the cheese board.

Graham Crackers
Try gourmet graham crackers with young cheeses and triple-crémes. These, from Tiny Trapeze and Starr Ridge, are perfect. Photo by Melody Lan.

—Karen Hochman

FORWARD THIS NIBBLE to your cheese-loving friends.


Golden Raspberry Jam, Peppered Black Mission Fig
Preserve, Purple Basil Jelly, Sour Cherry & Lemon Balm Preserve, Spiced Quince Preserve

Palette Golden Raspberry Jam
Jams or cheese condiments: each jar holds multi-
tasking delights. Above, Golden Raspberry Jam. 
Below, Sour Cherry & Lemon Balm Preserve.
Palette Sour Cherry Preserve

© Copyright 2004-2024 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All information contained herein is subject to change at any time without notice. All details must be directly confirmed with manufacturers, service establishments and other third parties. The material in this newsletter may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached, or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Lifestyle Direct, Inc.