Wednesday, September 25, 2013

France Day Three - Part Deux

There has been a lot of press lately about Christine Ferber,who is sometimes called the Queen of Jam. What I know about this Alsatian pastry chef is that she lives and works in Niedermorschwihr, a small village in the vineyards of France.  Ms. Ferber grew up here, and has no desire to move.  Her father started the business, but it is she who has made it a stunning success. La Maison Ferber is now run by Ms. Ferber, her brother, and sister, and Au Relais des Trois Epis is their small shop on the corner.  The magical goods are sold inside, although you'd not know it by peering in the window.  Part of the establishment carries magazines, newspapers, and some basic groceries.  The other part carries the famous jam and other delights, all handmade by Ms. Ferber and her staff of apprentices (some who come from all over the world to work with her).  The jam is sold in several luxury hotels in London, Paris, and Hong Kong, but people actually make a pilgrimage to Niedermorschwihr to purchase it. The jam itself is made in small batches, using almost all local fruits.  Many of the farmers have had business relationships with the Ferber family for years.

Since the village is not far from where we are staying this week, we simply had to go there. Imagine seeing a very tiny village on the horizon, surrounded by vineyards.  As you get closer, the tiny road seems to narrow even more.We had no street address, but the bakery was easily found.  Large luxury automobiles zoomed by, as a private guide escorted a Japanese couple into the shop.We arrived later in the afternoon, so many of the pastries and bread had already been sold. Ms. Ferber herself was not in (I did read that she starts in the kitchen as early as 5 a.m. each day, six days a week, and that every lid on every jar of jam made is sealed by her, with 118,000 jars of jam sold last year).

We carefully carried our purchases home, where we looked at everything for perhaps ten seconds before actually doing a bit of taste testing. The star cookies were first...fresh and crunchy, mildly spiced, they were The Best We Ever Had. The chocolats?  More of the same.

And the jam? Oh the jam! Pure bliss and an absolute first place winner. We're going back tomorrow to buy more...


  1. PUPPEEEEEE! Cute. My mouth is watering for that jam and those cookies. I am so envious! Looks like an amazing trip - continued fun and great weather.

    Leigh Ann

    1. Thanks, Leigh Ann! I've seen so many beautiful dogs over here!