We’ve wondered what cheese goes best with fig jam and after some research and taste testing, we finally came up with a delicious list of fig jam and cheese pairings. Check this out to see for yourself.
In the world of cheese pairings, fruits come in first for us. Some would argue that wine comes first and foremost but really, the beauty of pairing fruits and cheese opens not only pleasure for cheese pairings but also a whole new doorway to the rest of the culinary world. Sure it sounds profound but think about it. The origin of wine is a fruit. Most of wine’s tasting notes revolve around notes from stone fruit, berries, and others. The pairing of cheese and fruit opens up our palette and we can apply these pairings not only as a literal cheese and fruit pairing but also in main courses, appetizers, and even desserts.
Here, we explore the cheeses that pair well with fig jam. Fig is a fruit that is commonly found in Western Asia in countries like Turkey, India, and Madagascar. It made its way through the Mediterranean, Egypt, and the rest of the Middle East in 4,000 B.C. This fruit has then traveled its way around the world and won the hearts of the human race.
It may seem silly but our very first encounter with fig is with Fig Newtons. Fig Newton bars were a huge thing in the 90s. They were often found in grocery stores and snacked on. Fresh figs do not exactly taste like the jammy fig filling of these bars but it’s pretty close. Figs taste sweet and a little bit acidic with a jammy inside. Fig jam taste like caramel with a little hint of acidity, perfect for spreading on crackers and eating with cheese.
Brie is a very delightful cheese to consume. It is creamy, rich, earthy, mushroom-like, nutty, and grassy. Now that’s a lot of flavor in one go but we assure you, it’s pretty fantastic. Brie can come in big or small wheels but they’re covered with a waxy edible crust. Brie is perfect with fig because fig’s sweet and acidic notes are balanced by the creaminess of this wonderful cheese.
Camembert cheese is a mild and creamy cheese that is very similar to Brie. Camembert typically comes in smaller wheels and it is from Normandy, France. This special cheese is perfect with fig because just like Brie, its notes compliment the flavor of fig jam. We suggest that you place a soft slice of Camembert on a cracker and place some fig jam over it. It’s perfection.
Stilton is a milder version of Gorgonzola and Roquefort cheese. Gorgonzola and Roquefort are basically in the same spectrum and Stilton are like their little brother. Being milder than Gorgonzola and Roquefort, it is also softer and creamier, and we know that creamy cheeses complement the flavor of fig jam. Stilton has a yeasty saltiness and sweetness to it that makes it extra interesting.
Gorgonzola is one of the more popular kinds of blue cheese. It is Italian in origin and it is pungent, creamy, grassy, and rustic in flavor. We love the rustic characteristic of this cheese because although it’s absolutely wild, it also goes very well with a variety of flavors. Gorgonzola is great to pair with fig jam because it balances the sweetness of the jam and the jam balances the earthiness of the cheese.
Parmesan goes well with almost anything. However, when you pair Parmesan with fruit, it’s a match-made in heaven. Parmesan has a sharp taste, nuttiness and saltiness to it that balances anything sweet and caramelized. Fig jam, since processed, has a lot of caramel notes to it because of the added sugar. The Parmesan flavor harmonizes the flavor of this special jam.
6. Ricotta di Pecora
Ricotta di Pecora is not like any ricotta. Ricotta di Pecora is ricotta cheese using sheep’s milk. This is a lot more earthy and grassy in flavor but still mild. Ricotta di Pecora is typically used in Italian rather than the cow’s milk ricotta. In Sicily, ricotta cheese is typically used in most of these dishes whether salty or sweet. Ricotta di Pecora tastes excellent with fig jam because its richness balances the sweetness of the jam.
Burrata is a buttery and milky fresh cheese, very much like fresh mozzarella but it has a firmer outer layer compared to mozzarella. Burrata is very easy to make and you can make your own at home. It is very mild in flavor and it goes very well with fig jam as a harmonizing factor to this sweet spread.
8. Mozzarella di Bufala
Mozzarella di Bufala is fresh mozzarella from buffalo milk. This is one of Campania’s pride and joy other than juicy lemons. Mozzarella di Bufala is creamy, slightly sweet and slightly sour. It’s perfect in a caprese salad and to make it even better, you should add ¼ tsp of fig jam per slice of cheese to create a sweet, sour, and salty dish combo.
9. Pecorino Romano
Pecorino Romano is a lauded Roman cheese, typically used in Roman cuisine like Cacio e Pepe pasta and Bucatini all’Amatriciana. Pecorino Romano has soft tones of spices with a hint of browned butter to it. It’s very delicious with fig jam because their strong flavors simply connect and create a balancing act, almost close to Parmesan and aged balsamic vinegar.
Feta cheese is a cheese famously known to be part of the Mediterranean salad. Feta cheese tastes tangy, rich, and salty. It’s perfect with fig jam because its saltiness cuts through the sweetness of the fig jam. You can add a little bit of fig jam to a Mediterranean salad to balance the sourness of the salad. It adds character to the salad because it also complements the flavor of the briny olives.