Product Tip: Ajvar Red Pepper & Eggplant Spread on Finncrisp ♥

One convenience product worth stocking up on
Today's food tip: Ajvar, a spread made of red peppers and eggplant. Low carb. Weight Watchers 0 points.

Are there days when you 'can't see for looking'? You know, when you're trying to find the car keys, your cell phone, something you need right now and is nowhere to be found? And then, there it is, right under your nose, just like it was the whole time you searched?

So it is with ajvar, one of the rare prepared convenience foods I'm happy to stand up and shout about. There's always a jar in the fridge, my cousins and friends have even carried jars of it home on planes! Why have I not written about it before? Couldn't see for lookin'.

Why ajvar is so good:

Simplicity - nothing more than red pepper, eggplant (in many brands), a little vinegar, a touch of oil and sugar (in some brands).
Color - a smoky orange
Taste & Texture - pure red pepper, smooth but with mouth feel
Heat - mild and hot, usually, I like both
Calories - hardly any, especially the brands without oil
Price - a couple of dollars for a 19-ounce jar
Convenience - open the jar, grab a spoon

Here, I've spread ajvar on farmers cheese (which is like cream cheese with a tang, like milk to buttermilk, with a slightly grainy texture) on Finncrisp crackers which themselves are a great product, made with nothing more than whole grain rye flour, water, yeast and salt -- two crackers have 3 grams of fiber and for Weight Watchers, zero points.

One of the summer's goals: make homemade ajvar.

Where to find ajvar? Ajvar is indigenous to the Balkans so look for it at international markets, especially ones with foods from around the Mediterranean.



MORE CONVENIENCE FOODS I LIKE
~ jarred peppers & mini peppers ~
~ yummy lunch cake ~
~ canned green beans, yes canned ~

~ more convenience products I've tried ~



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7 comments:

Okay, this is completely new to me. There's a Russian market in Providence -- off my regular flight path, but worth a trip to go look for ajvar. If not, I'll try making from scratch.

I loooove Ajvar - though I prefer the mild one. For my spicy spread, I use adjika from Georgia (red peppers, carrots, chilli). I hope to get the recipe from my favourite seller at the market and perhaps blog about it:)

Totally new to me, too, but I'll definitely be on the lookout!

Hey Alanna -- I've LOVED ajvar for years. My only problem is that the jars are big, and I can't usually finish one before it goes bad. I'd like to try making it too -- maybe I could preserve it in small jars at the end of summer, when peppers and eggplant are at their height...and it would make a good gift along with homemade jam, I bet...

I love this stuff. If you are Seattle it is available at Pacific Food Importers, aka Big Johns - which is well worth a trip anyhow.

My Bulgarian friend Daniella used to make it — ljutenica — but it’s so cheap at Trader Joe’s she doesn’t do it any more.

When we were in Bulgaria, they did a lot of food pres, and ate red peppers as a veg. We were there winter and spring, so never had stuff fresh.

Their breads were dense, also in Transylvania Romania, and I think the paste is better on dense bread than something crisp. Only my preference.

New to me. I've never heard of Ajvar, but being in Vienna there are a ton of places to buy food from the Balkans - I'll be looking for it until the summer when I'll try your homemade version. Thanks for the post!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna