Meeting the Godmother of Jam in Alsace

Over the years I’d heard about Gabe’s French cousins in Alsace. They sent love and regards, some delicious foie gras and the Nice family contingency to our wedding, so I couldn’t wait to meet the rest of them one day in France.  Three years later we were pulling up to Nadia’s house in Uffholtz.  The entire Delforge family was so hospitable, we were never lacking for an invitation to dinner and they made sure that we saw and tasted the best of Alsace and France.  Alsace is known for its white wines, cheeses, cured meats and jams. 

I had known about the jams for years, but curiously had never tasted any.  My favorite cookbook author and chef, Christine Ferber, I knew lived in a tiny Alsatian village somewhere near Gabe’s relatives in Colmar.  I mentioned to Nadia that the one thing I’d always wanted to do was to find the tiny shop that she brewed her magic jams in, finally try one, and maybe meet Christine.  Nadia as it turns out, works for the tourism board in Alsace and was able to schedule me an appointment at the jam shop to make my wish come true!!!! Voila! Off we went to Niedermorschwihr, the cutest little village nestled in rolling vineyards, filled with 18th century half-timbered buildings.  The shop was everything I’d wanted to see, shelves and shelves of jams, pottery and pastries.  It was wonderful best of all, Christine’s sister-in-law gave me a tour of the kitchen.  They bake bread in the morning, pastries midday and jam in the afternoon.  It was bustling with activity.  I’d heard other tourists come in, also hoping to meet with Christine being told that she wasn’t there.  I’d also been told that she wasn’t there too, but then my tourist board VIP status got me behind the scenes. 

When we reached the jam area, there was Christine.  I recognized her from the back cover of her jam cookbook.  She was carefully ladling out the jam into each jar surrounded by helping minions.  She asked her sister-in-law who I was, if I was in the industry etc, and I replied that I was merely a big fan.  She wasn’t that interested in my being a fan and went on with the job at hand.  I didn’t mind, I’d met her and fulfilled that dream I’d always thought of while making jams in Seattle.  Someday, maybe I’d go to France and meet this cookbook author who loves the same ripe fruits, spices and mixes that I do.  Maybe I’d meet Gabe’s relatives and try some of that Alsatian white wine, see a stork and buy as many jams as I wanted….That’s what our year traveling is about: fulfilling all of those someday daydreams.  You can be sure I’m carting around too much treasured jam and French pottery for the remainder of our trip! 

Also, if you want to try Christine’s jam, you’d either have to bribe me (but my supplies won’t last long) or Daniel Boulud (the only US importer) or fly over to visit beautiful Alsace. 

Merci beaucoup Delforge Family!

–Sarah

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