Oh Twitter, thank you for encouraging people to creatively convey themselves, their ideas, and creations in a succinct and concise manner. Recently we were asked on Twitter to describe our preserves in “140 characters or less..” Our response was something along the lines of, ” ..Culinary preserves beyond use on bread and butter”. While I am sure that this is as about as succinctly as we could describe our creations, I’m not entirely sure that it fully conveys exactly what we do, never mind why we do it. Of course, that might mean we need to work on our sound bite but while we do… I thought I might write a bit more about why we call our preserves, culinary preserves.
Fresh, warm bread, melting butter, healthy dollop of fruity jam, jelly or conserve: perfection. Simply strawberry jam from locally grown fruit, glorious. Classic dilly baby cucumbers, you can never, ever go wrong with these. We love these too. However, the palette of flavors available, implied, waiting to be revealed or elevated is nearly limitless, and for us, preserving foods (whether it be jam, conserves, compote, pickles, salt-curing, drying, smoking…) is only part of the adventure. Have you ever tried a toasted almond and thought that the nutty sweetness would be even better with a salty, sharply flavored cheese? Have you ever be been inspired by a local cocktail maker’s inspired creations? Has a charcuterie tray with a combination of meats, cheeses, jellies, pickles, tempted you to play with flavor combinations that makes everything taste just a little bit better? How about the happy accident of stirring one thing and dipping it into another thing and tasting it (coffee and snow goat cheese…mmmmm).
Well, it is this realm of tasting and creating that we seek to explore. So, without intending to be pretentious we describe our preserves as culinary preserves. While they are certainly intended to be enjoyed on their own, or simply on toast, we make preserves focusing on flavor profiles and combinations for intentional use as integral parts of dishes or meals. Roasted cumin spicy pickled carrots when shredded and mixed with cabbage make a great slaw for a pulled pork taco, or our “Hot Toddy” Meyer lemon whiskey marmalade when mixed with a little zingy hot sauce is perfect as a glaze for bbq’d shrimp or white fish. Jams are not just jams, jellies are not just jellies, and while we are adventurers in the art of preserving many other peoples and cultures have inspired our own pursuit. We hope you enjoy!