In pastry school, we had a lesson about taste buds. When we are young, our taste buds are extremely sensitive. They cover not only our tongues but also the roofs of our mouth, the sides of our cheeks…. In short, we had a lot of very sensitive buds, which made us sensitive to strong foods. As we age, we lose many of these buds, in turn equating a loss of sensitivity to strong flavours. The idea of ‘learning to like’ certain foods is more a desensitization to strong flavours, and so what once bothered us no longer does.
There was a time when I used to hate ginger…. It was too spicy, too potent, and just a bit too strong for my taste. But as our taste buds develop over time, I learned to not only like ginger….I learned to love it. The pile of pickled ginger on a sushi platter always gets eaten, and candied ginger is like candy. I love its’ spicy, potent flavor. It came as no surprise that the ginger marmalade that my mom puts on her toast went from the bottom to the top of my list. At one time, the term ‘marmalade’ meant a way of ruining perfectly good pieces of bread. It was sour, chunky, a bitter….all the things that jam should not be. But as science predicted, I adjusted and now I love marmalade. So the day that I decided to try my mom’s jar of ginger marmalade was a turning point….. There couldn’t be a more delicious way to jazz up a piece of toast than with a smear of spicy, sweet, chunky ginger marmalade.
I have been playing with canning a bit. There is not a lot to the process, provided you have all the equipment and take your time. All summer I bought crates of fresh Okanagan fruit, and then ran our of time to process them into jam. Enter, Christmas. I decided to make some apricot jam (to use up the freezer bags of fresh apricots stored there in June!), some orange and grapefruit marmalade, and of course, some lemon ginger marmalade.
sticky, sweet, citrusy. It was delicious and made its way into many stockings on Christmas morning!