Too Low to Get High
Orange with Cachaça Jam
Oranges, sugar, cachaça, lemon juice
Dark chocolate, aged cheese
Slightly bitter and very aromatic: opening a jar of this jam release the aroma of the fine Brazilian distilled spirit that is cachaça. It is an unique experience! Try this jam with dark chocolate desserts, for example a decadent mousse or rich brownie. Or pair it with aged cheese. You won’t get high from the alcohol because it evaporates during cooking. But you’ll probably get stunned by this exciting combination of citrus and sugarcane volatiles.
I’m not a beer or wine person, but I love distilled beverages such as cachaça. I love the smell of sugarcane coming out of the bottle and filling my brain with ideas on how to use that aroma to enrich my cooking. And ever since I started making jams, no matter what comes onto my plate or into my glass I wonder: how can I use this ingredient to make jam? It was like this that the idea of mixing cachaça with fruit appeared out of thin air.
I tried cachaça jam thickened with pectin, but I wanted something different. I went to the fruit market to look for inspiration on what would make an exciting combination. Guava? Pineapple? Strawberry? Passion fruit? So many options sometimes makes deciding harder. But I made my bet and brought oranges. It must work well because this jam rocks. It became a best seller soon after being launched.
Oranges, and other cultivated citrus fruit, are native to Asia. They spread to five continents through trade promoted by Europeans after the XVI Century. Today, Brazil is the leading producer of oranges worldwide.
Cachaça is a distilled beverage made of sugarcane and is recognized as the Brazilian national beverage. It contains from 38 to 48% of alcohol and is produced all over the country. Luckily for me, I live in an state known for the high quality of its cachaça, some of which are among the eldest and most traditional in the country.