March 01, 2015

Paillettes et Confitures: Redefining the Meaning of Jam

Jam, and not just any jam, but something way too good for me to handle... I decided to follow my emotions and man was I right...

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I received a special package that included jam. I thought would be simply jam like any other jam sold around the country. Today, I received four jars, beautifully packaged, wrapped in the company's logo, sticker with an expiry date and, most importantly, the ingredients of each jar. Two jars have an orange sticker and the other two a green one. Orangette, clementine, pomme d'amour and pomme tendre.

Reading the ingredients and checking the consistency of the jars, I can tell you that my mouth started to water. I just sat there, looking at those jars while trying to choose which one I should start with.

Those Jams created by Dr. Patrick Herbeaux, a Franco-Lebanese in love with his country. The idea of doing jams in Lebanon came very naturally. With the good fruits we have here jams can only be good.... Adding a touch of French fusion could only make them better. The aim is using only locally grown fruits and adding a pitch of Paillettes by using spices or other more local sweets to get new unexpected sensations.

The 2014 fall collection comprised peach jams, melon jam, pear jams and my exquisite "confiture des sultanes" (sold out) a banana based jam. This 2015 winter collection that is now available in town comprises citrus jams and four different apple jams.

Clementine: Let's start with the consistency. A well balanced filling that's not too watery or condensed, just right for a sandwich spread or simply a tasting. Fresh and aromatic, I was ready to dig in. Wow. A beautiful texture, smoothly felt under the teeth while a well balanced sweetness takes over. You feel the Clémentine peel melt under the palate. All of that, and no bread or biscuits were needed to make the experience enjoyable.

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Orangette: This is an impeccable innovation. You know the orangette is sold at chocolate shops? Candied orange wrapped in chocolate with this orange that's chewy and sticks to your teeth while the chocolate melts on your tongue? Man! Just imagine that in a jam jar. A thicker consistency than the clementine, the oranges are cooked with their peel which is felt in every bite while bits of chocolate explode at the same time. That's not simply jam, that's delicious innovation.

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Pomme Tendre: That's really impressive. I found myself smiling as I ate... Apple left as is with their skin on, which adds a nice texture, loukoum for a gentle chewy and subtle feel, with a load of spices which sparkle around obliging your senses to awake. That's not like any jam I've had before.

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Pomme D'Amour: If you like apples, you'll fall in love with this recipe. A hard consistency of apple chunks mixed together and cooked with sugar. It's like eating a fresh apple. Just imagine it with cheese or butter on toasted bread.

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What's amazing about these jams are its ingredients. Fresh ingredients, fruit and sugar and nothing else. The creators managed to reproduce the flavors of nature.

I'm out of words... I've been eating jam all over the country and at all hotels I've tried over the years. I'm a big fan of apple jam and fig jam... Tried some specialties, like red fruits but I've never heard of such a mix, rarely enjoyed this balanced sweetness leaving me amazed by those jams. 

Jam has a new name, it's called Paillettes et Confitures. It's artisanal and made with love, passion and pampering. A must try.

The jams can be found in three places in town for the time being:

  • Patisserie Gustav (Hamra)
  • Gallerie Zawal (Mar Mikhael)
  • L'appartement (rue Sioufi Achrafyieh)



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