There's no shortage of new jam makers in America. I probably taste more preserves than any other category of food—a dozen or more in any given month. Most are new and quite good. I thought I'd tasted every jam that existed in America and then I got this surprise.
The Tarshish family has been making date jam at their bakery in Golden Valley, Minnesota for nearly fifty years. The recipe is simple: dates, cane sugar, lemon juice and just a touch of citric acid, but the finished spread is anything by ho-hum. It's a haunting balancing act, facing the dates' cedar earth sweetness against the tart tang of lemon juice. It's excellent, and among the hundreds of preserves I've tasted in the last couple years it really stands out.
Date jam pairs extremely well with a wide range of foods, but it's especially good with fresh cheeses or over grilled meats. One of the most versatile products in your pantry and great gift for anyone looking for the next (old) thing. Half the size of most jams.