The Saddest Thing Since The Invention Of Jam

Empty Jar

…is an empty jar of jam.

Particularly if it is Christine Ferber‘s Confiture de Framboise à la Violette (raspberry and violet jam). I held on to that one for months after buying it, not opening it until the heart of winter so it could act as my cheerful companion on those bleak mornings when you wake up and it’s still dark, you get ready and it’s still dark, you leave for work and it’s still dark.

I guess it’s only fitting I should get the last taste of it now, as we transition into spring (I know you know, I just can’t quite stifle the joy, but why would I?) and mornings are so much brighter in every sense of the word.

But still, yesterday as I was leafing through my cherished breakfast magazine ELLE and its report of the Paris fashion week (never too early to get the dish about Fall/Winter 2005 trends), I was shocked to realize that yes, however much I scraped at the angled sides of the jar with my special square Italian ice-cream spoon (very handy) and in last resort a small piece of bread, that was indubitably the end of it.

It’s not like I can complain about my pantry being even remotely lacking in the way of sweet n’ spreadable goods, it’s just that this one was really really good, and a somewhat hard-to-find flavor. And that simply means one thing: time to plan a little trip to Niedermorschwihr!

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  • Hi Clotilde,

    Sorry, your saddest story made me giggle ;)

    but it’s a lovely thing that spring is finally (almost) there, that now you have an excuse to go on another trip to get more jams, and that we can probably see their new flavors as you bring them back.

  • Alisa

    To know how much you will miss somthing is testement to how wonderful it is/was. I saw a program on Cuisine TV all about Mdm. Ferber, another trip to Niedermorschwihr can only be a really good thing.
    And by the way, that is some spoon photo!

  • Mia

    My grandmother saved a set (24!) of those same spoons for me. I’d always wanted them as a little girl and had nearly forgotten them. Two years ago, when I got married, the spoons (wrapped in tissue, original box) showed up on our gift table. I love them!

  • Viv

    Isn’t it wonderful, Clotilde? And such a beautiful color! We brought back over a dozen jars of Madame Ferber’s little gems last week and the Confiture de Framboises à la Violette was of course, yet again, among our loot. This particular fruit combination is packaged as part of the “Christine Feber pour Pierre Hermé” collection sold at Hermé’s boutiques. So you are in luck, with a much shorter Metro trip to the 6th (or the 15th) until you can get back to Niedermorschwihr. :-)

  • dexygus

    Dang it. I just got back from Paris, and my search for Christine Ferber jams was a bit disappointing. All I found at the Grand Epicerie were jellies. I had no idea Pierre Herme carried her wares. I was there too! I guess I only had eyes for the pastries.

  • laura floyd

    Is there any way to buy this jam in the US or online? It sounds delicious!

  • ya

    hum, i can buy raspberries, my neighbor grows violets and is not always home. :)

  • Ya, make sure there arent any pesticides on those violets before you go scavenging! :-)

  • Osage

    This reminds me to order a bottle of Violet Syrup from Monin!

  • tanvi

    hey Clotide,
    im a longtime reader and i adore your blog. i completely understand about the jam- im quite attached to my jam as well. it makes me nervous when it dwindles down and i havent another jar in the pantry. there’s something so fantastic about jam, at any time of year! ive never had raspberry jam (much less with violet!) but it sounds lovely! i do hope you get a chance to restock soon :-)

  • Well you *could* add a little water to the rest fo the jam, empty it into a sauce pan, and reduce to the desired consistency & flavor. (I’ve never actually done this, mind you.) It’d be ever so slightly pathetic, but you *would* be able to get to all the jam. I’ve long wondered why they don’t make the mouths of those jars a bit larger so that you can soak up the last traces of jam with a bit of bread.

  • I love the rasberry jam from the Avila barn in San Luis Obispo, but the drive from Houston to get more is daunting. This week my sister-in-law sent 2 big jars. Hope a similar care package is en route to you!

  • a

    houston in texas to slo in california?!!
    you really like jam.

  • a

    can’t you buy edible flowers in paris? it seems like edible flowers and paris would go well together.

  • Paige

    I have ice cream spoons like that, too, except I bought mine in Japan! Japanese cuisine is wonderful because there is an implement, dish, and utensil for every kind of food, even for “foreign” foods like ice cream. I use my ice cream spoons for yogurt, too, and anything else that’s smooth and that will nicely slide off the flat, square spoon.

  • i think i missed info on Niedermorschwihr…love to know about this place. off the rasberry and violet subject….the best meal i had in paris two weeks ago was the lobster ravioli at cafe de la musique at cite de la musique near porte de pantin métro…total yum.

  • Damon, you know what would be better than water? Try shaking a jam jar on its last legs with a splash of vodka :)

    It’s a naughty instant cordial.

  • Julie

    I can only imagine the ecstasy in that jar of jam. I have a copy of Ferber’s book, Mes Confitures, and every jam recipe I have made from it has been received with rave reviews (when I could be persuaded to share the bounty). My particular favorite, made last fall with the figs from my neighbor’s tree, was her recipe for Fig Jam with Honey and Bay. Outstanding. When I come to Paris this summer, I will haunt Pierre Herme to find the Framboise avec Violette, which sounds fabulous. Since a sidetrip to Ferber’s town seems unlikely, what other varieties of hers do you recommend, Clotilde?

  • Jenji

    This sounds so perfectly spring-like, Clotilde! I’ll have to try to imagine the flavor by sniffing some raspberries and violets at the greenmarket… by the way, I’ve recently read about a currant jam sold at Hediard that sounds delicious, have you ever tried it?

  • cynthiaLW

    I bought a copy of Christine Ferber’s book and have been drooling over the recipes. I selected one to try first called Rhubarb with Acacia Honey and Rosemary, but after reading the recipe over many times I am stymied. It never does tell when to add the Honey. I don’t know how to contact the writer of a cookbook when there is an error in printing. I will probably guess, and add it near the end, but it really would be nice to know what the creator of this jam actually does.

  • Jeffrey RH

    Clotilde,I am salivating by the way everyone speaks of these rich and fattening foods, I have been on a diet by Michel Montignac and I am afraid to steer too far away. Your stories tell me that I’m missing out on many of the good things in life and I will be looking forward to a future Saturday morning at the Farmer’s market in Edmonton, Alberta. Almost sure that I will not find nearly the same fascinating items as in France. My daughter just returned home from travels with her school to France ( only 9 days ). I hope that one day I will be able to travel there. Thanks for the dreams.

  • Susan O

    Does anyone have a recipe for violet fig jam? I had it at a hotel in Bordeaux. I think it was made by a company called ‘Allen’ Something…but am not really sure.

    I also have some sirops from France. Lavender, Rose, Violet and Myrtile. Would love some interesting recipes to use them in. thanks.

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