The cherries in the park close to my house are ready. They haven't been attacked by insects yet and look perfect, but I can't eat too many of them straight off the trees as they are quite tart.
The black cherries are a little sweeter, but there are less of them.
Since living in Italy I have learned to appreciate eating sweet/spicy/pickle jams and jellies with cheese.
Some of my favourites are caramelized fig jam, strawberry and balsamic vinegar jam/sauce, sweet onion jam and green tomato chili jam. I also adore eating cheese (pecorino) with honey or sliced pears.
Italians even have a proverb:
"Al contadino non fare sapere......
......quanto è buono il cacio con le pere!"
"Don't tell the farmer how good pecorino (sheep's milk cheese) is with pears!"
What about cherries?........I decided to try to make a spicy type of jam to eat with my cheese.
Recently I have discovered wild ginger growing near my home and I did think of adding some flavour with the roots, but after researching about it and reading reports of serious toxicity I decided to NEVER-EVER- consider it again and use some cultivated ginger instead.
This recipe is an adapted version of a recipe from beechwoodinn.ws/wild-cherry-ginger-sauce
1 cup dry red wine
half cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons finely grated ginger
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
¼ cup fresh orange juice
2 cups wild cherries
grated zest of a small orange
Put the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer (I didn't even remove the stalks). Simmer slowly for 2 – 3 hours until it reduces and thickens. Stir occasionally. When you are happy with the consistency pass through a sieve and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. You could remove the stalks before and leave the skins and stones to make a lumpy jam or you could simmer the seived sauce for longer to make a thicker jam.
This recipe make one small jar of thick sauce which I will keep in the fridge. It goes really well with "pecorino nero".
It would also go well with roast meats (duck, turkey, pork)
NEVER CONSUME WILD PLANTS WITHOUT A LOCAL EXPERT OR SERIOUS RESEARCH FIRST.
SOME WILD PLANTS ARE EDIBLE IN SOME COUNTRIES AND TOXIC IN OTHERS.