Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Introducing: Black Tea Pickled Dried Plums

Let's talk frankly for a quick minute. Marketing gurus, in an effort to thwart negative culinary-linguistic impulse reactions, have officially designated prunes as "dried plums". Which they actually are of course. Even mega-corporations such as SunSweet have adopted the new lingo, and somewhat guiltily, so has The DP Chutney Collective. We all know prunes - sorry, um, dried plums -  are delicious, sweet concentrations of deep plum flavor, and regardless of this year's moniker, these sun-dried fruits always pack a huge punch to the open minds of receptive taste buds.

So loving DRIED PLUMS as we do, The Collective imagined a sweet/sour/spicy interpretation akin to our chutneys, ketchups and relishes; hence our brand new Black Tea Pickled Dried Plums. Not anywhere close to an ordinary pickle,  best employ a pickled dried plum as you would any scene stealing culinary co-star: one or two atop a thick-cut pork or (preferably rare loin lamb) chop, stewed with braised chicken legs, wedged into a hearty club sandwich, nestled amongst sour cream and butter in a baked potato, or chopped and bejeweling a pasta puttanesca sauce.

These glossy, rich gems are created from the best quality dried plums, a house-made "syrup" of vinegar, black tea and cane sugar and then marinated with cloves, mace, toasted yellow mustard seeds and a plethora of complimentary spices. Did we mention how, with a hunk of sharp, aged cheddar and a whole grain baguette, you can make an entire meal of them? Proud Papa here, we don't want to excessively gush any longer, or mention their off-the-chart antioxidant levels . . .