Mysteries of life: where did all the jam jars go?

You may be severely disappointed in me today because, in the middle of some of the most dystopian news in years — and given our past five years, that’s saying something — I choose to report on something sweet and teeny.

Earlier today, I was in Citarella to pick up necessary items, one of which was Citarella’s Strawberry Cherry Poppy Mixed Fruit Spread jam. I’d run out of it. Sometimes, late-ish in the night, there is nothing I crave more than a dollop of Cabot’s Greek Yoghurt mixed with a spoonful of the aforementioned jam. Which I lap up from the spoon, standing right there at the kitchen counter.

So, to Citarella’s second floor I trod and made my way to the jam shelves. There was no Citarella jam on the jam shelves. There were other brands of jam, yes, but my tastes have their loyalties and no way was I about to cheat on Citarella jam.

Stores, including Citarella, do move their stock around, so I moved around, too. I circled the beans-pasta-sauce shelves several times. I stared deeply at the shelf above the cheeses, where another extraordinary jam collection sat. Was my jam hiding behind other jams? No. It wasn’t.

Good thing there were few people up on the second floor because as I roamed around and around I began to moan. (Truthfully, it was more like a whine.) I don’t like myself when I moan or whine but here was probable cause: was it possible Citarella was no longer selling its own jam?

There are some changes I can’t cope with, so descended the stairs in a state of anxiety, where I ran into a warm and friendly woman wearing a Citarella smock. I was tremulous but I got it out: “Where are your own jams?”

“Upstairs,” she said, “in the shelves–…oh, wait, no. We’re out. Yesterday someone came in and bought all of them. Twenty-four jars.”

“Why?” I said. “What could anyone do with twenty-four jam jars?”

She didn’t know but promised me they’d be replenishing their jam shelf in a few days.

It’s a mystery and that’s what I have to tell you. Except that Citarella’s jams are not made in Texas.

They’re made in Uzos, a French town.

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