Sunday, 2 November 2008

A berry good jam indeed.

This post has been far too long in coming, and I'd like to send out my apologies, because the subject matter warranted, no, demanded, immediate attention: Salmonberry jam.

As you'll know this year I took part in the Jammin' jelly exchange. I thought that sending my humble jam across the world be be extremely exciting. What I hadn't anticipated because of being so wrapped up in the frantic boiling, bottling and labelling of my package, was just how wonderful it would be to have jam randomly arrive on my doorstep one day.

There I was one morning a couple of weeks ago, sitting in front of the computer attempting to write when the door buzzer went. Lo and behold, the postman holding out a small, square, jam-jar sized package! I was so excited, that I could barely bring myself to photograph the box before ripping it open to reveal the contents. Who knows what this unassuming little box from Alaska would hold. I couldn't have been more surprised and excited when the contents revealed themselves to be a large jar of delicious looking dusky-red salmonberry jam from Angie.

Salmonberries! Not something I'd ever heard of before. I've often through of myself as a berry enthusiast, so how could this berry have passed me by? Turns out it's a berry that looks like a raspberry and is native to the Pacific northwest, ranging from California right up to Alaska (I hope I've got that right!).

I wanted to wait to try the jam, because I thought only a plain wholemeal bread would let the berries truly shine, and give me the full experience of the jam, without any other flavours gettting in the way. The current bread in the cupboard was malted and I didn't want it interfearing with the red goodness I now had sitting proudly in it's jar on the side.

Boy was I glad I waited. The jam is delicious. Not too sweet, with the delicate flavour of the berries perfectly captured, alongside the pleasing crunch of the seeds. As you can tell, I've already dipped into to it on several occasions, but I'm trying really hard not to go mad so I can draw it out as long as possible - after all, it's not everyday that a jar of Alaskan salmonberry jam lands on your doorstep!

So, it only remains to say a HUGE thank you to Angie for sharing this with me, and to Molly for arranging such a great event. I can't wait to have a go again next year, when hopefully I've got more experienece and more interesting ideas. Until then I shall be peeling, chopping, boiling and bottling my way through, and topping up our jam, cham and chutney reserves, whilst slowly savouring my salmonberries.

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