‘Tis the Season to Eat Jelly

Hey there everyone, this week we have something very out of character for the current year: A festival find. But don’t worry, I’ve not been getting out and about and putting my family or my reviewing ability at risk. I’ve simply been saving today’s feature since back in january.

This is Briscoe’s Jellyment #2

Also known as their Tempting Thai Jelly. A yorkshire-made preserve which, like Farraday’s Surinamese Piccalilli before it, is rapidly approaching its best before and thus needs to be showcased sooner, rather than later.

Yet, while that’s why I’m bringing it to you now, it’s not why I have it in the first place. I picked up this particular product because I found it, and the other sweet spreads that Briscoe’s were selling, quite fascinating.

After all, thai sweet chilli might normally resemble a jam or jelly but this is the first time that I’ve seen someone actually try and turn it into one. Let alone give it an apple base.

This product is unique and I’m really hoping that it works as well as the heatless vanilla, cinnamon and thyme flavours which I tried off record.

Before I begin, though, I should probably address the elephant in the room and clarify what this product really is. Because, while it is a commonly held belief that “jelly” is the british term for a gelatin-based dessert and the american term for jam, that isn’t quite true.

Or jam and the US’ jelly are very similar but they are not the same thing. Since, while both are a fruit-based spread, set with sugar and pectin, jam is made from fruit pulp that naturally contains that pectin, whereas jelly typically uses the fruit’s juice, instead, and often has to have pectin powder added.

This generally results in jelly having a smoother, firmer texture than jam, making it appear closer to the dessert that shares it name. Yet the spread contains no animal products and is, without a doubt, still spreadable.

It’s odd to see a UK company, like Briscoe’s, make jelly, instead of jam. But, in their case, it makes a lot of sense, since they want the focus to be on their herb and spice flavours. Not on the taste and texture of the fruit beneath.

So, with that in mind and having tried a few of their other items already, I’m not expecting to taste the bramley apples much in Briscoe’s Tempting Thai. Even they are the first ingredient.

But I am expecting to taste some of the oakier, more aged apples in their cider vinegar. As well as the chilli flakes, lemongrass and ginger that should hopefully, when put together, give the impression of a thai-style sauce.

Let’s try it out:

In colour, this spread is oddly dark, for something so transparent, and its hue is part way between red and amber. Yet, clear as it may appear, this jelly is not completely so.

There are solid, opaque pepper seeds and large shreds suspended within this otherwise smooth spread. So it’s not just a chilli-flavoured jelly, it’s a jelly with added extras. But still not technically a jam.

Yet, even so, it’s still sweet and spreadable and actually has rather more of an apple undertone than I was expecting.

An undertone spiced with a touch of earthy ginger and a rather larger amount of lemongrass. As well as enough red chilli to provide me with a low medium

heat in the upper back of the mouth. Sharp but welcome, in how it cuts through the sweetness.

This jelly is definitely going to go well with savoury foods, as its makers suggest, like seafood, pork, stir-fry or spring rolls. Yet it lacks any savoury notes, itself. Which is unusual for a pepper preserve.

Instead, the chillies seem to have transformed the oakier side of the apples and vinegar into something resembling the dark tones of black tea. A strange but enjoyable, subtle addition to an otherwise lighter-tasting product.

With that in mind, I’d also suggest mixing this “Jellyment” with lemon and boiling water, for an unusual take on honey, lemon and ginger tea. Since its sugar, apple and spices already go part way to mimicking a golden honey.

It’s not exactly what I imagined and it’s definitely not a thai sweet chilli but this is a great preserve that definitely tastes thai and will work as a dip, glaze or condiment for both thai and non-thai dishes alike.

Here’s what goes into Briscoe’s Tempting That Jelly:

Bramley Apples, Sugar, Water, Chilli Flakes, Ginger, Lemon Grass, Cider Vinegar, Citric Acid

Do go check it out.

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