What The Hell Is A Damson?


I sometimes buy things because I don’t know what the hell they are. It’s palate education. My friend Julia Child says you should always be educating. Never let your palate go slack. Don’t get comfortable with peanut butter & jelly and Cheerios. From Julia’s Menu Cookbook:

Eat out. Drink good wine. It doesn’t have to be often, but your palate becomes dulled if you go too long without stimulus or without quality. That’s when an otherwise excellent cook will begin to overseason.

Thanks, Julia. Overseasoning, bad. Tasting lots of shit, good.

Enter damson. No, not daaaamn son! but damson: a purple oval fruit; a subspecies of the plum tree. It can also be used as a descriptor for red wines. OK, I like it even more. And given my Czech heritage, at some point I would love to get my hands on this fermented damson they speak of called slivovitz for an evening of drunken shenanigans palate education.

I ran into this ($7 jar) of damson jam at a small specialty grocery. For today’s lesson, we will spread this lovely damson on some strong, soft cheese as the label suggests. Damson + Brie = ahhmazing. Try it.

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