Matt Reviews Rare Bird Preserves

This is a brief followup review to my last review of Le Rêve Patisserie & Café.  On my way out of Le Rêve, I ran into my friend, McKenzie, who was just coming in for lunch.  She insisted that I buy a jar of preserves that they sell there at the café.  She told me that it was amazing, seasonal, and impossible to find anywhere else.  With such a ringing endorsement, I had to try a jar.

The preserves in question were Rare Bird Preserves, made in Oak Park, Illinois.  On their website, they boast about only using “seasonal, local, and sustainably grown fruit,” and that the makers use “artisan methods, infusing floral and herbal pairings with hand cut fruit to create inspired, signature flavors.”  I also learned that indeed, Le Rêve is in fact the only place in Wisconsin to purchase the preserves.

There were about four or five seasonal varieties available, and I selected Blackberry Lime Curd ($9).  Steph and I just sampled our first taste on some Breadsmith whole wheat toast with butter.  Some of the flavor may have been lost of the whole wheat, I think I would have rather tried it on a brioche or a French bread, but we had to make do with what we had on hand.  With an ingredients list of only six ingredients, I was expecting purity of flavor.  Given that those six ingredients were (in order) sugar, egg yolks, blackberry puree, butter, lime juice, and salt, I was expecting richness.  On both counts, I was not disappointed.

The preserves were silky smooth, and surprisingly light and airy.  The consistency was almost more like a mousse than a traditional jam or jelly.  It was not gelatinous at all, but rather was much more of a pure fruit puree.  And as expected, the flavors were incredibly pure.  I could clearly taste both fresh blackberries and lime, and the two flavors married very well.  The preserves were quite tart, but with a good amount of sweetness, and without a doubt delicious.

Given the very hefty price tag, I don’t think I’ll be making Rare Bird my go-to option for my morning slice of toast or peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but for an occasional indulgent treat (I can’t wait to try McKenzie’s suggestion of a French toast topper), this really was fantastic.

A

UPDATE: I did indeed try these on French toast, and it was AMAZING!

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