Saturday, 23 November 2013

CULINARY CURIOSITIES - BACON JAM

I was recently sent a box of foodie goodies by a PR company to help me create "the prefect Bonfire Night feast" - two packs of Spoilt Pig sausages, some deliciously sweet Denhay maple-cured bacon, Tracklements mustard and proper old-fashioned tomato ketchup, and a condiment called 'Bacon Jam'. The sausages and bacon didn't make it to Bonfire Night: my son and I had a fry up and devoured nearly everything in one sitting the day after the food box arrived.



Packaged in a small jar, not unlike caviar, the Bacon Jam went into the cupboard where I keep my condiments and was forgotten about for a few weeks. I wasn't sure what it was for: did one smear it on rashers of bacon as they were cooking, or was it a relish or chutney? One day, my curiosity - and greed - got the better of me and I tried the Bacon Jam, on a spoon. Sweet and smoky, with a distinctly "bacony" flavour, overlaid with sweet onions and, strangely, coffee, Bacon Jam proved to be very curious and extremely moreish. I tried it with a sharply mature Cheddar: it worked beautifully. When my son came home from school, I urged him to try it. He turned his nose up initially: the dark brown sludge in a jar isn't immediately appetising, but once tried, forever converted. We like it so much we now buy it in bulk from Amazon.

It is delicious with cheese: smear a layer on bread, top with a piquant cheese such as a good Cheddar, Emmental or goat's cheese, and grill. It is also a great accompaniment to salami and other cooked meats, and we have had it with roast pork. Our next culinary adventure with Bacon Jam is smearing it on top of a really good, homemade (of course) beefburger. In fact, its bacon content is tiny and it is really a sweet onion chutney, which makes it immediately more palatable. Created by the Eat17 company, it is part of a range of relishes that includes Chilli Bacon Jam (must try) and Chorizo Jam.

www.bacon-jam.co.uk