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Jam

My longish stay in Germany has, of course, as main purpose the recharging of my language batteries. But I won’t lie: Food comes a close second. I have been eating my way through the specialties of the south-west, from Maultaschen to Hoorische, from Linsen mit Spätzle to Fleischsalat, from Saumagen to Gefillde.

One development I noticed is the explosion in the number of people keeping bees, either as a profession or a hobby. The result is a huge selection of local honey, often exclusively sold in street markets. In all the areas I stayed, I had the chance of tasting local honey, some of which was simply outstanding.

For me, this is the first summer in Germany since 1989, and one of the most delicious side effects of that season is freshly made jam. Home-made strawberry, apricot, raspberry, or rhubarb jam – made from locally harvested fruit – has such a strong fruit flavor that “industrial” jams just cannot compete. As it happens, the Los Angeles Times also picked up on jams with an article entitled Jam session with Jessica Koslow of Sqirl – leave it to the headline editor to hit us over the head with a pun. On the same page, they mention Kevin West and his book Saving the Season, a cook’s guide to home canning, pickling, and preserving (Twitter account @savingtheseason). If you like jams, jump in and use the rest of the summer (and summer fruit) to try your hand in cooking your own.

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