The Pantry: Capital Vintage Marmalade
This is the portion of the afternoon's entertainment where we 1. Demonstrate some edible that you probably haven't heard of and surely can't pronounce; 2. Inform you that your life is meaningless without it; and 3. Grudgingly let you know how you might acquire some. If said foodstuff is unavailable both in local stores and on the Internet, so much the better. If you have to drive to the bank to pick up a money order denominated in dinars, well even better still.
This was going to be the day when I told you about a giant bialy-looking Uzbek flatbread from the Tashkent Bakery in North Hollywood, sprinkled with sesame seeds, that goes by the name of non. I was savoring the likely puns -- non-starter, non but the lonely heart -- almost as much as I was looking forward to eating some of it with a kind of jalapeno-saturated Armenian tzatziki that you can get sometimes at Garni in North Pasadena. I'm not sure I had tasted non in Los Angeles since Uzbekistan Restaurant in Hollywood closed a few years ago, and try as you might, you won't be able to convince me that Georgian khachapuri is the same thing. I'd even bought a tube of Mother Goose Paste, a kind of faux-goose pate made with chicken liver and veal, to go with it.
But when I woke up this morning, the non was gone. Early breakfast? School lunch? Midnight snack? I'll never know. You'll just have to wait on that one for a while.
But I did crack open a new jar of Capital Vintage Marmalade from Corti Brothers, a Seville-orange marmalade made with fruit harvested from Sacramento street trees, prepared according to Mrs. Beeton's Victorian-era recipe, and left in a jar to mellow. I'm using the 1997 now, mostly because I bought a lot of it, but the store is currently selling the 2008. It is powerful stuff; dark and profoundly bitter, more peel than fruit. You probably only want to smear the marmalade on half your slice of toast, so that you can alternate bites when it all becomes too overwhelming, which it will. Your children will cry at the sight of it. More for you.
I can only speculate how it might have tasted with non.
Photo credit: Corti Brothers