Turning all the tastes in the world into unusual jams

by | Art of Confiture

03

January 2017

In gastronomy, imagination rules! At Andrésy Confitures, we cultivate the art of creating subtle and sometimes surprising combinations of tastes to make flavoursome, different jams.

Culinary preferences and tastes are very closely linked to culture and rooted in us from childhood. As a result, it is not always easy to set aside our habits (and prejudices) and open up to other taste horizons.

Like the top chefs who put a new twist on classic recipes, Andrésy Confitures combines different types of fruit and adds ingredients from all over the world to create unusual jams.

The four basic tastes plus one

In the West, we generally recognise four tastes:

  • Sweet: the sweet taste is innate: children like it from infancy.
  • Sour: a sour taste leaves a sharp sensation on the tongue and often makes the person salivate and grimace.
  • Bitter: the bitter taste is unusual and not very popular with Western palates.
  • Salty: by adding salt, we accentuate the taste of food.
  • Umami : a fifth taste recognised in 1985. Umami means “savoury” in Japanese. It imparts a certain creamy smoothness in the mouth.

In practice, things are not quite so simple: no two people will perceive tastes in the same way and their sensations can vary widely. For instance, when one person finds a dish too salty, someone else will feel the need to add more salt.

Experience, intuition and technique

To create a new recipe, cooks combine fruits with complementary tastes and add ingredients that will enhance their flavour. It’s always an adventure and nothing is out of bounds.

Fig with blackcurrant and walnut makes a mild blend, while fig with blueberry has more character. The latter goes well with mulberry juice or cherry, while orange goes well with yuzu, and the acidity of pineapple is balanced out nicely by the sweetness of vanilla. A pinch of something spicy can work wonders: the warm taste of Espelette pepper, or peppers from Africa or Asia, forest pepper from Vietnam or Sichuan pepper (very fruity), or sansho pepper (a green pepper with a citrus flavour).

All of these recipe creations are handled by Andrésy Confitures’ Research & Development Department, led by Julia Cassan. It takes lengthy research, based on experience, intuition and technique. The research team has to experiment, test different proportions and cooking times, and taste the result at each step of the production process.

When it comes to flavours, inspiration comes from travelling!

For unusual jams, nothing beats a familiarity with other cultures

Where does the idea for an unusual jam come from? It might begin with a request from top chefs looking for something new for their restaurant or their pastries. Or maybe Andrésy Confitures simply wants a different jam for its collection.

The Bien-être des Petites Parisiennes range is largely inspired by flavours from other lands.

We get our creative ideas from a multitude of sources, and travelling is a great opportunity: think of the breakfasts and meals in international hotels and restaurants, spice markets and even the in-flight meals served by foreign airlines.

 

Based on our own French taste, but with influences from other cultures, we can invent unexpected flavours and tastes that will produce unusual jams for gourmets to enjoy.

 

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