A jar of red currant jam
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|Currants (white currants or red currants)|
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Bar-le-duc jelly (French pronunciation: [baʁ lə dyk]) is a highly regarded preparation of jelly originally composed of select whole seeded currants, typically white currants or alternatively red currants. The name Bar-le-duc refers to the geographical origin of the preparation in the French town of Bar-le-duc. Since the jelly's first documented reference in 1344, the culinary name "Lorraine Jelly" is occasionally used, as the city of Bar-le-duc lies within the boundaries of the former province of Lorraine.
Commonly served as an accompaniment to game, spread on bread, or with foie gras, it is considered a culinary luxury item sharing an elite status akin to Beluga caviar and is colloquially referred to as Bar Caviar. The typical product is a jam, with the berries remaining intact in a thin syrup. About 200 currants go into one 85 gram jar (approximately 3 ounces), which cost approximately €15 a jar in Bar-le-Duc and $40 in the US (as of 2008[update]). Notable references exist in the historical record about the spread being enjoyed by celebrities such as Alfred Hitchcock, Ernest Hemingway, Victor Hugo, and Mary, Queen of Scots.
As of 2012[update] the House of Dutriez in the town of Bar-le-Duc provides one of the very few hand-made preparations still on the market, la confiture de Groseilles de Bar le Duc (Currant Preserve). The traditionally hand-made product involves épépineurs or épépineuses (seed extractors) de-seeding the currants with goose quills to flick out the tiny seeds without disturbing the flesh of the small fruit. Sometimes sweetened jellies, consisting of mashed and sieved currants of a significantly lower cost and quality, appear on the market under the same name.
- "A Jam Fit for a Queen, Dutriez Bar-Le-Duc". FXcuisine. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- Barry, Ann. Bar-Le-Duc Currant Preserves. The New York Times : Arts and Leisure Section. January 30, 1983.
- Anon. Royal Jelly. Waitrose. February 2000
- Anon. Homepage of Bar-le-Duc France, Delights and Traditions, in English Ville de Bar-le-duc, France. August 2009.
- House of Dutriez Confitures à la Lorraine (House of Dutriez).
- Homepage of the City of Bar-le-duc, France, in French.