Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Find of the week: novelty jams

Hello, my name is Adriana, and I'm a condiment junkie.

We have one of those exasperating refrigerators, as Lane is always reminding me, with more bottles of exotic stuff than actual food. My worst weakness is the novelty jam. You know, preserves of fruits, flower petals, vegetable extractions, etc. too eccentric to just slather over peanut butter. Right now I'm wondering what to do with the rose petal jam, riesling gelee, and ginger spread languishing in my refrigerator.

At least the ginger spread comes with recipes and suggestions for use. A small amount can give an Asian sauce a little extra kick. You can use it in the place of minced fresh ginger. I like spooning a bit into my oatmeal.

Unlike my violet syrup, the rose petal jam does not taste like floral soap. Maybe it's all the sugar. It is, unlike the ginger spread, extremely delicate and can easily be overwhealmed with other flavors. I'm saving what's left (Jasper loves the stuff) for the filling in spongecake petit fours which I will make someday.

According to the suggestions on the jar, the riesling gelee is good with charcuterie, preserved meats like smoked ham, sausage, and pates, particularly but not limited to pork. It's quite alcoholic so not for children. It's sweet, but not too sweet, strong enough to pair with heavier, savory flavors. I got both the rose petal jam and the riesling gelee in Alsace.

Maybe you see these jams on the shelves and think, "ew, too weird." You probably have a refrigerator filled with practical foods like cold cuts, lettuce and tomato, sliced bread, potato salad, cheese slices. If so, could Lane have lunch at your house?


Anonymous said...

What about putting the rose petal jam in a trifle? You could use almost any kind of cake--I like pound cake or chiffon cake better than sponge or angel food, but then I'm a fan of the butterfat. Add some complementary fruit, pastry cream and whipped cream, and you're set!

I'm so entranced by this idea, in fact, that I may just try making rose petal jam or jelly this summer.

Adriana Velez said...

That sounds splendid...except that Jasper has all but finished the rose petal jam. Oh well, I can often find it at the Coop or at one of the specialty stores around here. I love the idea!

Lindsey said...

I just cleaned out my fridge today. There are about a dozen each of hot sauce, jams/jellies, pickles, mustards, etc. I have tiny bit of regular old ketchup--for the kid. I want to get annoyed at myself for my own condiment habit, but they are too fun and really dress up a boring old sandwich or whatever.

I'm intrigued by the things you mentioned. We're really stuck on Elderflower and Blackcurrant.

Have you ever tried Cumberland Sauce? It's from England. They serve it with meat. It has red wine and currants (?) with orange peel and some other stuff. It's really good.

I'm going to make rose ice cream one of these days. I made some orange blossom ice cream, but my husband added so much Grand Marnier it ended up tasting like Triaminic.

Swizzies said...

First of all - oh my god, the jam witch has a website?!? Whoa. Who knew?

Secondly, I bought some rose petal jam in paris a few months ago, and I loveloveloved it. Except mine was rose petal and passion fruit, and was called confiture d'amour. Which just made me laugh. And it was Fauchon, so it cost about 8 GD euros. Sheesh. (The jam witch didn't charge that much, did she?)

Thirdly, I'm thinking the riesling gelee sounds tres yummy (I knew I shoulda gone into the jam witch's place with you - it would have been like seeing it with new, foodie eyes...sigh) - and I could totally picture having it with all those strong cured meats in the alsatian choucroute. Hmm. For texture and opposition, it would be great to serve a wee plop of the gelee as a finishing touch on a savory meat dish, and just have it melting into things when you serve it. Yum.

Finally, my fridge, as you know, is also packed full of odd condiments that my husband doesn't like. Rather than jams, mine tends to acquire many bottles of different olives and pickles, and various types of mustard and horseradish. But, yum! So, hell with 'em, let them eat sandwiches.

Anonymous said...

Lindsey, when you go to make your rose ice cream, just be warned that not all rose water is created alike. Most of it does have that really gross soapy taste, so you have to be careful.

That said, I do have some of the good stuff (I think I found out which one to buy from Cook's or something like that), and made rose ice cream a few years ago that was delectable.

Do any of the rest of you get a kick out of your word verification letters? Right now it says "nzgynwc"--New Zealand gynecologist toilet?!? Surely I'm not the only one who sees things like this.

Lindsey said...

Thanks for the tip, Jane. Maybe that's why my orange blossom ice cream went wrong.