I spend a week in France every summer, thanks to my husband's sweet gig (he's a scientist and has a standing set of meetings in southern France every year). Lucky us. Sometimes I get asked by friends and others visiting France for the first time, "What should I bring back?" There are a thousand good answers to that standard souvenir question, but here's mine: the sublime jams of Christine Ferber.
Ferber lives in Alsace, where she runs a patisserie and makes her jam in small batches, stirring every one by hand. This piece on her is worth the read:
- Read more: From Alsace, Sweet Love for the World at The New York Times
Sure, these jams are ultra pricey, but to be fair, I think I paid about 9 euros in France, which is much less than the exorbitant $20 you find here, after import costs.
But I think it's worth it. Christine Ferber is really an artisan, in a world where that word has become so devalued. She knows how to coax the deepest flavors out of fruit like currants and strawberries, sometimes infusing them with flowers. The first jam of hers I tried was blackcurrant with violets and it made me swoon.
This year I hunted her jams down — a dark cherry with rose petals, and a classic Alsace blackcurrant — in a gourmet shop in Toulouse, and brought my treasures home. Worth every bit of suitcase space.
Have you ever tried Ferber's jams?