Saturday, July 28, 2007

I am not the jam queen

This morning I woke up and decided to head out to a different market for fruits. First I walked up the hill to Noe Valley, which has a perfectly lovely farmer's market, but was a bit too small for my purposes--all of the stone fruits on offer I had made before.

I grabbed the J Church and headed downtown to the Ferry Building Market, which I had thus far avoided. Locals have a number of complaints about this market: it's too expensive, it's too hard to park, it's crowded with tourists.

Because of the prime location and associated rent, the prices are higher. I don't care about parking, and tourists can be charming if you're in the mood. I was standing in the line snaking around Peet's when I overheard a visiting British family discussing breakfast. The son's foul mood threatened their day; he wanted something savory to eat and was lost in a sea of pastries and breads. I helped them find the Hayes Street Grill booth (note: stunning bacon sandwiches), then found myself at the June Taylor Jams booth.

In case you are unfamiliar, June Taylor is the gold standard for jams. They are jarred fruit bombs, explosively flavorful and beautifully packaged with letterpress labels.

And that's where our story begins. The booth was staffed by a woman I'd not seen there before, I poked around the marmalade, conserves and jams as she helped a couple of tourists.

Me: Who is June Taylor?
Clerk: I am.
Me: Oh.
(Uncomfortable pause as I sample every jam with a tiny white spoon)
Me: I-make-jam-every-weekend-for-this-project-and-strawberry-was-really-hard-and-expensive-and-I-really-like-your jams-and-I-don't-use-pectin-and-you're-my-hero.
June Taylor: Oh. Do you sell it?
Me: No. I bought some green gage plums.
June Taylor: It will be loose without pectin.

And that was that. Good night, and good luck.

1 comment:

Edward said...

Is that a hereditary title? May I remind you that we live in the good old US of A and have no need for such outmoded forms of governance. Down with royalty! For my part, I'd be glad to vote for you were you to run for the presidency of jam. Provided, of course, I ever get to taste your jam.