Hmmm…sometimes it pays to study the labels of the jams you buy a little closer. After Saturday’s trip to the St Albans Market I’ve discovered that I am eating not Black Bot Peach Jam but Black BOY Peach Jam. I had spent time searching for more information on the black bot peaches (not a good term to put into a search engine!) to no avail. But my search for black boy peaches came up trumps and it seems to be a fairly unusual type of peach with, according to one New Zealand website “dark reddy-grey skin. Bright port red and white streaky flesh.” Sounds beautiful. Now, having been seduced by the jam (even if I was calling it by the wrong name) I’ll have to look out for the peaches themselves, although I might have missed the season as they apparently ripen in late February.
The jam lady’s produce is so fantastic that I had to go back to her and replace the first wee jar of Black Boy Peach Jam that I bought. While I was there I grabbed another jar of the delicious Lady Rose chutney as well. While I was examining her other jams and chutneys I heard her tell another customer that she was thinking of giving up the market for the winter. I’ll have to get stocked up!
It was a quick trip last Saturday but I made time to stop by the Cox’s Orange Pippins man only to discover, to my horror, that he doesn’t have them any more. Apparently they’re only in season for a really brief time, about three weeks a year and, because this man doesn’t refrigerate his apples, that’s all he has them for. While I respected his non-refrigeration attitude, I was kicking myself for not buying and eating more of the Cox’s while they were around. He gave me tastings of the other apples on his stall and I ended up walking away with a big bag of Brayburns. They’re the crunchiest and tastiest Brayburns I’ve ever had, knocking the Irish Tesco imports for six, but they don’t have the incredible flavour of the Cox’s Orange Pippins. Oh well, I guess I’m well warned in time for next year!