Cinnamon Damson Jellies.

Did I ever mention how much I love cinnamon? You can put it on pretty much anything and I’ll be your friend forever: cinnamon toast, dripping with globules of butter; poached pears with chocolate and cinnamon sauce; hot cocoa with cinnamon mixed in with milk. Mmm – what a spice! Always so warming and homely, and pretty darn good for you too. Need to lower your cholesterol? Increase your alertness? Reduce your blood sugar? According to various health gurus, cinnamon can do all that for you and more – it’ll probably scrub your dishes as well if you ask it very nicely.

One other fringe benefit: if you’re trying to sell something edible (sweet or savoury), the addition of cinnamon will almost always guarantee I’ll buy it. Of course, it has to be veggie, so no Moroccan-style lamb shanks for me. But vegetarian jellies from Terre a Terre? Count me in – with bells on.

As soon as I saw these bad boys – on a memorable birthday dinner back in January – I snapped them up right away. They had been made fresh that morning, said the waitress, and I was the first to buy some. Despite this initial urgency, however, it took weeks to get round to eating them. There’s something about jellied sweets in the evenings – they just don’t seem quite as right as chocolate. Or so I thought…

Last night, with the two month threshold fast approaching, I decided to forgo my jellied bias and have a few cubes after dinner. Cor, blimey: they weren’t half bad. I should have known, really: being a product of Terre a Terre, they were never going to be in the same league as a Rowntree’s Fruit Pastille. Oh no. They were miles and miles (and miles) up front.

For one thing, unlike a Fruit Pastille, these jellies were made without gelatin. In fact, a peek at the ingredients list showed they were made without anything nasty: just damson (the main ingredient), sugar, water, lemon juice and cinnamon. No wonder they tasted so fruity and fresh. The texture, too, was divine: soft but substantial and dense.

As for the combination of flavours, The Man, for one, was not convinced.

But wait!

Before you start to believe that he might be right, please be reminded that this is a person who sees Pop Tarts as the rulers of all Puddingdom (and describes most chocolate as just ‘all right’). Clearly not someone to be trusted.

No, Ogglers. Listen to me when I tell you: damson and cinnamon RULES. It’s such a dark, rich pairing, perfect for these cold and gloomy nights. In fact, as couples go, I’d say these two make the edible equivalent of a roaring log fire and a thick-pile rug. They belong together. And with just one plummy bite, you can feel yourself breathing more deeply: my cheeks were warmed, my muscles loosened, memories of rustling through the leaves came rushing through my brain.

Deary me.

For summary’s sake, I think it’s safe to say I liked them.


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