Thursday, June 7, 2012

Feeding Friendship: Chocolate Balsamic Strawberry Jam

HUGE and perfectly sweet strawberries have been overrunning the market lately.  Although they seem to be ever-present at the grocery store, it's this time of year when strawberries are really at their best - and their cheapest.  Knowing that strawberries will soon give way to their blue- and black-berry cousins, I wanted to put up some strawberries.  What I think my be my favorite book on home economics - Make Bread, Buy Butter - makes the very credible argument that you shouldn't can things you can buy perfectly good versions of at the grocery store.  And at my fancy-schmancy Central Market, you have shelf upon shelf of strawberry jams.  Some adorned with sweet, gingham fabric, some even made by nuns.

What you can't find, however, is chocolate-balsamic strawberry jam.; so that is what I set out to make using this recipe from Toronto Tasting Notes and the chocolate balsamic vinegar I picked up at the Tasteful Olive in Overland Park, KS.  My berries were huge so I cut them into about 8 pieces before allowing them to macerate about 3 days (I kept meaning to get the canning, but I procrastinated).  The flavor of the jam is quite complex with the sweetness of the berries (and lots of sugar) balanced by the tang of the vinegar.  The chocolate flavor isn't pronounced, but adds a depth to the flavor like it does for mole.  I'm in love with the jam and so glad that I have six more jars to last me into the winter!

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