From Tea to Chicken - a versatile jam
Ginger and Pineapple Jam
Pineapple, sugar, ginger, lemon juice
White cheese, cachaça, gin, tea, chicken
Extremely aromatic, you can feel the smell of this jam from a distance. Zesty, it has a bright, vivid aroma that shows up the moment the jar is opened. Mix it with cachaça or gin, add a stick of cinnamon and you have an exotic drink with a hint of Asia to it. Place a small amount of it in your mouth before drinking hot green tea, as is the Eastern European custom. Or mix a spoonful of it into iced tea on a summer’s day to refresh and reinvigorate yourself. Use it as a glaze on chicken to for a pleasant sweet-and-sour dish.
We do not sell jams directly to customers, but we work so closely with our retailers that we feel we have an active link with the final consumer. They help us identify trends, propose new developments and suggest helpful improvements. Many of these retailers even become close friends, for example Elidiane. She mentioned many times when visiting me at home that customers were asking for a ginger jam. Challenge accepted!
As the nihonjin (someone of Japanese descendent) that I am, I love ginger and use it, preserved, with sushi. Also considering all the health benefits attributed to this plant and the warmth it imparts during the winter months, it made sense to develop this flavor. But it took time.
In April 2019, temperatures were starting to decrease and new ginger was available at the market. I considered many different kinds of fruit to use as base, but none sounded so interesting as pineapple, which is commonly used to make exciting flavor combinations. But in the first batch, the ginger was too weak. The pineapple flavor dominated. Since I wanted just the opposite, I slowly increased the percentage of ginger. When I hit right balance, I launched this jam and Elidiane herself has presented it at many tasting events. Customer approval is overwhelming.
Brazil is the second largest grower of this tropical fruit worldwide. (Costa Rica is first.) And the state where I live, Minas Gerais, is the third largest producing area within the country.
Ginger has been cultivated since the earliest human settlements in Southeastern Asia and many medicinal properties have been attributed to it since. It is widely used throughout East Asian cooking, and in Indian cuisine. In Brazil, ginger is grown mainly in the state of Espirito Santo but it is also cultivate in Minas Gerais and Santa Catarina.