Monday, August 26, 2013

Fat Pork Jam

It has been a fruitful holiday. We have been stuffing our faces with mangoes, West Indian cherries, yellow plums, and guavas. Wars are being fought over the few remaining sugar apples. 

One  uncommon fruit which we found on a drive through the country side was fat pork.  Bite into it and the unusual texture of it's interior, white pulp will clue you in as to the name. The taste is insipid and to be honest it doesn't inspire a second bite. It looks it but doesn't taste like pork fat. The weird, floury texture is only very mildly sweet with a flavour that is barely detectable. The rest of the Caribbean calls these fruit cocoplums. It is something that I remember foraging as a child, although now I cannot for the life of me remember why! 

Foraging, apparently it's a thing. Back when I was a child. It didn't have a name. It was just something we did. Mom and Dad you might want to look away for this part. Sampling little bits of wild, edible, plants and their fruits was a childhood game which was meant to gross out friends. 

Does anyone remember eating the transparent seed coat of the Pride of Barbados seeds? We called it Dead Man's flesh. Yum. There is that 'ick' factor that's so gosh darn appealing to kids~ especially boys.  Reportedly, all parts of the Pride of Barbados plant are toxic but we didn't know that as children. It's a wonder any of us survived childhood! How about sucking the nectar out of the Ixora flowers or eating 'cheese' (pollen) from the stamen of hibiscus flowers? So tell me are there any strange things which you ate as a child that have you questioning your sanity today?

Back to present day and the point of me buying a large quantity of a fruit that my son says tastes like mashed potatoes. 

He is not wrong.
I don't much care for it myself but I had heard that one could use this fruit to make jam. 

How was it? Well, we all liked it. While not likely to replace our all time favourite strawberry or guava jams, it was pretty decent jam.  I would describe it as having a mild rose flavour with slightly woodsy notes.  Part of me wants to call this by its other name and say cocoplum jelly. That sounds a lot more sophisticated and grown up, doesn't it? However the kid in me...

I can't help myself - the shock factor of offering someone a spoonful of Fat Pork Jam is proving to be just too irresistible. 

Fat Pork Jam
(yield about 1 cup)
*No actual pigs were harmed in the making of this jam.

75 fat pork (cocoplums)
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar

Put the fat pork into into a deep pot filled with water ~ just enough to cover the plums. Boil for about 3 mins. . After allowing it to cool, use clean hands  to smash the fruit and remove the seeds. Pass the remaining pulp through a sieve removing the larger bits of pulp and skin. To this fruit sludge, add 2 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon and 1 cup of sugar. Cook until jam is set. Click here for useful tips for knowing when your jam is ready