From the Land of Sultans with a Mexican Touch
Chipotle Pepper with Dried Fig Jam
This is an earthy, brilliantly colored jam with lots of small fig seeds scattered throughout. Open the jar, and a complex aroma is revealed, hinting at the variety of ingredients working together to create its unique scent. This is a must-have on cheese and charcuterie boards, and it is a key ingredient when composing a playful verrine of jam, cheese mousse and ground cashew nuts. Mix it with extra virgin olive oil, and you have a deeply-favored dressing for a simple green salad.
Dried fig, sugar, brown sugar, honey, Chipotle pepper, lemon
Aged cheese, meat, salad
It was a cold day in Istanbul, Turkey, and I was exploring its downtown market area when someone offered me a bite of fig jam. Yes, of course I would try it. What else is travel for other than to try to new experiences, new flavors! Its lovely taste created an immediate and lasting connection to that colorful, vibrant market.
On my return to Brazil, I started recreating the flavor of that jam, mixing dried figs from Turkey with different kinds of sweeteners… and it got good. Really good! But still, there was something missing. It needed to be more striking. That’s when I thought… pepper! But then, which pepper? For all the sultans in Turkish history, which pepper?
I was out exploring possibilities when chipotle in the window of a store in Belo Horizonte Central Market caught my eye. When I sensed that smoky aroma and flavor, I had no doubt anymore. It had to be! Then suddenly, it made so much of sense. This jam would be the result of ingredients that had undergone the effect of air in their processing: dried fig and smoked pepper. It was a match for sure. And that’s how our best seller was designed!
Figs are fruit originally from the Middle East and were one of the first domesticated plants in human history. Widely used in Mediterranean cuisine, fresh and dried, they confer a sweet, honeyed taste to any preparation. Dried figs are commonly used in the preparation of jams and fresh figs in the preparation of preserves or candied fruits.
Chipotle pepper is nothing but smoked, dried Jalapeño pepper, a moderately spicy kind of Mexican pepper. Smoking is an effective means of preventing spoilage so this valuable ingredient is not lost.