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Saturday, 26 October 2013

Jamming in Lebanon

Date trees provide date fruit that, when dries, becomes the dates we usually eat or use in sweets.

In Lebanon, fresh dates are abundant - sweet, yellow and best of all they make delicious date jams where the pit is replaced by a walnut.

Figs are another abundant fruit when in season. Figs are made into a jam so thick and gooey that it is eaten with a fork.

Apricot jam is the most common Lebanese jam made with fresh local apricots. It is made very syrupy and very sweet and eaten with pita bread.

My favourite is dried orange rind jam. It is made in two versions; a dry one sprinkled with sugar and a moist one that is soaked in syrup. Eaten as a treat.

Quince jam is also big in Lebanon. It is a thick, almost dry, jam. A relative of mine decided it is too boring to keep on eating it as a jam, so she turned the jam into sweets with chocolate and nuts. Perfect to serve with a cup of coffee.

Lebanese pumpkins are very rustic and wild looking. They probably date back to the stone ages and have not been genetically modified in any way since then.

They are not made into jams (even though some sweet is made with it but only found in regions specialized in that).

But it is popular in the mountains as a replacement for meat in pumpkin kibbeh.

I simply cannot get over how outer space looking those pumpkins are compared to the North American ones.

Perfect for Halloween....

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