Impulse Buy: Strawberry Balsamic Jam
Store: Various locations in New York City
Cost: $7 at Lucy’s Whey, Chelsea Market
Hands down, strawberries are my favorite fruit. Ever. I love them whole, macerated with sugar, covered in chocolate, chopped in a bowl of Cheerios and sprinkled over ice cream.
Without question, balsamic vinegar is my favorite kind of vinegar. I adore that powerful taste, pungent aroma and silky texture drizzled on arugula salads, boiled down and dripped on crepes and blended with honey and cooked over salmon.
Naturally, you can imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon a jar of Strawberry Balsamic Jam. After all, two foods that are so right on their own and are naturally friendly together must surely be delicious in a thick, chunky, fruity jam. Made by Anarchy in a Jar, this particular jar of jam is sold in smaller quantities than is your classic Smucker’s or Bonne Maman jam, though it packs a world of flavor. Of course this spread bursts bright notes of berry, but behind that lays an incredibly tangy taste of balsamic, subtle enough to not be overpowering although prevalent enough to notice and love it.
I purchased my jar right before the holidays, and I’m still working my way through it. See below some of the ways I’ve eaten it, then let me know if you have any suggestions for further use.
**How to Get Through a Jar of Strawberry Balsamic Jam*
1. Enjoy the ultimate breakfast toast –slather the jam on a piece of thick-cut buttered, grilled ciabatta bread, and top with a sprinkling of sea salt.
2. Microwave two tablespoons on a medium setting until warm, and drizzle over almost-melted vanilla ice cream for a light but satisfying sweet treat.
3. Sandwich a hefty layer of this crimson-colored spread with creamy peanut butter between whole-wheat bread to make a fancy PB & J.
4. Serve with soft brie and goat cheeses, a crusty baguette and a drizzle of honey to prepare a decadent cheese-and-crackers plate.
5. Use it to fill linzer or thumbprint cookies to bring a pop of color and slight bite to your dessert.
Maria Russo is a senior at Barnard College and starts off most mornings with nearly-burnt toast with jam. Read more . . .