So here we are again at an awesome landmark. Sadly I missed what the proper halfway point was due to some spreadsheet, but reaching 600 on a list of 1001 is still pretty damned cool.
Sure I might never complete this list with things like yellow oil crab and moleche requiring trips abroad at very specific times, but doesn’t mean I can’t get as far as possible.
Originally there was going to be a third item since I saw parsley root on sale… but it turns out that I grabbed some sort of heirloom carrot. Tasted nice when roasted with a heather honey-soy sauce glaze, but not really what I wanted. Sidenote: I was so happy to finally find a use for that jar of heather honey.
The ratte potatoes were boiled in their skins for 25 minutes and served with a light dusting of salt. I know that you can puree them for their nutty taste or include them in casseroles, but I wanted my first taste of these to be pure. They were firm and creamy in a way that I didn’t quite expect from a potato. Really, a little bit of salt was all that was needed here.
As for the crosnes (also known as Chinese or Japanese artichokes) I decided to blanch them for two minutes before frying with some smoked German sausage for about eight minutes; taking care for the crosnes to get an even coat of the fat that was oozing from the sausages.
The result of cooking the crosnes in this fashion made for a lovely smokey taste permeating the smooth nuttiness of the crosnes. The smaller ones were easily mashable with a fork and the slightly larger ones still had the hint of a bite to them. Honestly, I wish I could have melted some raclette cheese over the top of this and eaten is as some form of hybrid gröstl.
So, this little pot of nutmeg jam is what gets to my landmark. Pala Manis sounds so much better than nutmeg pericarp, but I guess this more scientific sounding name is more botanically correct.
Just to break it down.
Nutmeg is an amazing plant where we eat the seed (as regular nutmeg), the aril (known as mace) as well as the surrounding fruit itself. The pala manis in this jar is this pale apricot-like fruit.
Being a jam this was always going to be sweet, but what’s of real interest is the hint of sourness and the warmth. It certainly has the warmth of the nutmeg, but there’s more to it than that. I want to just call it Christmas, but I think that it’s more like ginger or galangal. I wish that little jar wasn’t £2 or I’d buy the nutmeg syrup for future acts of ice cream.