Friday, August 30, 2013

Vinalhaven Red Currant Jam By Nans Kase, Maine, Updated

Vinalhaven, Maine—Thirty year island resident Nans Kase knows how to make delicious red currant jam. Her grandfather had a garden in Holland where he grew red currants and made jam. “When I found red currants growing here I was delighted,” said Kase during a recent interview at the Vinalhaven Island Saturday morning Flea Market.

Nans Kase's wild foraged Dutch style red currant jam, Vinalhaven, Maine
She foraged all her berries from the wild and cooked them up with sugar and pectin into a tart Dutch style jam. “It is delicious on vanilla ice cream,” she said.

Nans Kase, red currant jam maker, Vinalhaven, Maine
Red currants have a disease that attack white pine. But there are no white pines growing on Vinalhaven, according to Kase.

I bought a jar, even though the contents looked more like syrup than jam. Kase said, “It’s been in the sun all day and so it just looks runny. Once you cool it down it will firm up.”

I tried a spoonful later. It was full of tart whole berries with a touch of sweetness. I thought about Kase’s ice cream comment and realized this jam was beyond delicious. It was New England summer in a bottle.  

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