Bar-le-duc jelly

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Bar-le-duc jelly
A jar of red currant jam
Place of originFrance
Region or stateBar-le-duc
Main ingredientsCurrants (white currants or less commonly, red currants)
Other informationalso prepared in some former French colonies, notably New France (now Canada and the United States)

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 red currants.[1] 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, purportedly sharing an elite status akin to Beluga caviar and is colloquially referred to as Bar caviar.[citation needed] 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 costs approximately €18 a jar in Bar-le-Duc (as of 2021) and $40 in the US (as of 2008). The spread has been enjoyed by notables such as Alfred Hitchcock, Ernest Hemingway, Victor Hugo, and Mary, Queen of Scots.[citation needed]


As of 2012, 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.[2]

When Rex Stout's fictional detective Nero Wolfe deals with the distraught daughter of his bootblack in the novel Kill Now—Pay Later (1961), he suspects hunger, as much as the shock of her father's death, is responsible for her emotional instability, and tells his cook, "Tea with honey, Fritz. Toast, pot cheese, and Bar-le-Duc. For Miss Vassos", strengthening Wolfe's reputation as a gourmet and establishing the high regard in which he held her father.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Le caviar de Bar-le-Duc". Maison DUTRIEZ (in French). Retrieved 2021-12-02.
  2. ^ "A Jam Fit for a Queen, Dutriez Bar-Le-Duc". FXcuisine. Archived from the original on 26 March 2014. 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.

External links[edit]

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWard, Artemas (1911). The Grocer's Encyclopedia. {{cite encyclopedia}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)