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How to combine Sardinian cheeses with fruit, jams and marmalades

How to combine Sardinian cheeses with fruit, jams and marmalades

Cheeses: one of the gastronomic excellences that make Italy famous throughout the world. Italy produces a large number of them (more than 500!), of which about 50 have the P.D.O. (Protected Designation of Origin) mark. And how many are produced in Sardinia? Thanks to its agro-pastoral tradition, our island is one of Italy's largest producers. According to the latest data, there are 23 Sardinian cheeses with the P.D.O., T.S.G. (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed) and T.A.P. (Traditional Agri-food Products). To these must be added all the typical specificities of each area, whose products vary in method of production, seasoning and preservation (ever heard of casu marzu or casu frazigu?). The result is a unique rich variety of traditions and tastes.

Cheeses made from sheep's milk, cow's milk, goat's milk, fresh, semi-seasoned, seasoned, blue-veined... the world of Sardinian dairy products is truly vast and leaves room for the creation of numerous recipes and combinations. One of them is the combination of cheese and fruit, which has become very common in recent years.

Why is this combination always a success? Because cheese, with its almost complete absence of sugar, finds in fresh fruit, jams and marmalades its perfect complementary foods and with them creates the right balance of flavours.

The combination of cheese and fresh fruit/jams is always heavenly, but it should never be done without a precise criterion: every type of cheese has its ideal match! But how do you choose? How to find the most suitable jam or preserve for your cheese board?

Here are our tips on how to pair Sardinian cheeses:

As you may know, the classification of cheeses is mainly based on:

– the type of milk used (cow's milk, sheep's milk, goat's milk, buffalo milk, mixed milk...)

– the consistency of the cheese (soft, semi-hard, hard, etc.)

– the manufacturing process (blue cheese, pasta filata cheese...)

– according to the aging time (fresh, medium seasoning, seasoned...).

It is precisely this classification that we must pay attention to when we want to make the perfect combinations, because only in this way it will be possible to create the right contrasts and taste balances.


Generally speaking,if a cheese is seasoned and has a strong, decisive flavour, the jam or marmalade to be used should be sweeter; if, on the other hand, a cheese is soft and has a delicate flavour, it is better to choose jams or marmalades with a more acidic taste.

You can use this rule as a starting point to create a tasting trail and try out different options, from classic to unusual pairings. Always remember to serve the cheeses at room temperature and to start with soft cheeses, continue with semi-mature cheeses and finish with mature cheeses.

We give you some ideas for choosing the right combinations:

 Fresh cow's milk cheeses (such as Sardinian Peretta cheese): with their delicate flavour and soft texture, they go well with apple or pear segments, blackberry jam or orange marmalade.

 Semi-seasoned or seasoned cow's milk cheeses (such as Nobile): here too, go for pear segments, orange marmalade and special jams such as Myrtle and Apple!

 Blue cheeses and Pecorino cheeses with a strong and decisive flavour, such as Fiore Sardo and Duca: they are the perfect accompaniment to sweeter flavours, such as persimmons, white grapes and peach and black fig preserves.

 Semi-seasoned or seasoned goat's milk cheeses (such as Conte): excellent eaten with strawberry or blackberry jam.

 Ricotta and seasoned ricotta: excellent with orange segments, Sardinian fig and strawberry jam, lemon marmalade.

Our advice? Never forget Carasau bread in a board like this. Its crunchiness will complete the balance of flavours and give you the perfect taste experience!