85 gr -France
If you are looking for the ultimate in "slow food" - then this just might be it. Made by hand, using a delicate and crafty age-old process, to produce the most exquisite end product you can imagine.
It is hard to believe, but this jam has been made the same way since 1344. The story goes that some French Monks in the small village of Bar-Le-Duc, in the Loirraine region of France, had an idea about how to use the delicious red and white currants that grew in the region to make an exquisite jam. The currants have a wonderfully tangy flavor, but they also have many little seeds. So the Monks set out to find a way to remove the seeds, while leaving the currant, and all its unique and wonderful flavor in tact.
The monks developed a process known as seeding. A seeding specialist delicately holds a single redcurrant or whitecurrant berry between their thumb and forefinger. The seeder then uses a sharpened goose feather to extract the six to eight pips while leaving the berry and all its pulp and juice in tact. Learning to seed properly requires years of training. This is a process that cannot be replicated by machine - it must be done by hand. The most experienced of seeders can seed as much as nine pounds of the tiny berries in a day.
Once seeded, the currents are then placed into a domestic-sized pot of boiling syrup and reduced down to preserve the flavor and color of the currants. When cooled, the thick preserve is poured into small, multi-faceted glass jars - and sold for what seems like an extravagant amount of money. No harvested currants are held from one day to the next; the whole process from harvest to jarring must be completed in a single day. Current production is between 5,000 and 20,000 jars a year - depending on the year. All the production takes place in August when the currants are ready to harvest - and while the rest of Europe is on vacation….
Jacques Dutriez owns the last remaining "factory" for the famous Bar-Le-Duc Redcurrent Preserves. And when Jacques becomes too old to continue, that will likely be the end of the famed product. Jacques son is not planning to take over the business, and Jacques does not want to risk the demise of the old method of production, and the resulting product degradation, by selling the company to anyone outside the family. After all, the Bar-Le-Duc Currant Preserves have been the pride of Bar-Le-Duc for centuries.
So, if you are looking for the ultimate food gift - delicious and unique - this just might be it. Enjoyed for centuries by Kings and Queens alike, along with a few Hollywood starts - such as Victor Hugo and Alfred Hitchcock. Join the small but esteemed crowd of foodies that know the best when they taste it.