Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Carbonella's magnificent marmalades

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 8:35 AM

In this past week's Indy Dish recipe booklet, we feature an authentic Italian bucatini recipe from Carbonella Creations, which we favorably reviewed back in October.  

While I was at Carbonella taking pictures last month, co-owners Enrico Romagnoli and Molly Hamlin introduced me to chef Romagnoli's marmalade lineup, now for sale over the countertop. The chef explained that back home in Marche, where he's from, making a marmalade is a simple and typical way to utilize fruits that are heading past ripeness, so that they don't go to waste. 

Not only are these marmalades demonstrating creative repurposing, but they're by far the most interesting and delicious ones I've tried, immediately spurring my culinary imagination for ideal pairings. Truly, they're killer and you should go pick some up to play with, even if it's just with bread and butter. 

My favorite of the batch is his Granny Smith with star anise, black pepper, vanilla and a touch of cognac, wherein the vanilla and anise show up first, fading to the apple sweetness and finishing with a whisper of the hooch. 

click to enlarge The good stuff glistening in sunlight. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The good stuff glistening in sunlight.

The licorice notes in the pear, black walnut and grappa flavor are even brighter in the boozy finish, and this marmalade offers the most texturally diverse sampling, from big nut chunks to sandy pear skin — it finds a flavor balance beautifully. 

click to enlarge The who's who among marmalades. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The who's who among marmalades.

The pear, anise, turmeric and grappa gains a yellow color from the spice plus a hint of bitterness in the finish flavor, the grappa again punching last. It's pear-forward, and more applesauce-like in texture. 

click to enlarge The colors of a marmalade rainbow. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The colors of a marmalade rainbow.

Lastly, an apple, date, brown sugar and Marsala wine marmalade gains spice from an Italian spice mixture called Saporita, made with coriander, cinnamon, caraway seeds, cloves, nutmeg, star anise. It feels immediately like a holiday-timed flavor, something perhaps Thanksgiving appropriate. It's plummy with a deep brown sugar and clove backbone, amped by the wine sweetness. 

click to enlarge Proper labels but no checks, please. - COURTESY MOLLY HAMLIN
  • Courtesy Molly Hamlin
  • Proper labels but no checks, please.

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