Small Batch Sweets: We Love Jam
I make no secret about the fact that jam is pretty much my favorite food. And like with most favorite foods, that means that I'm both more and less discerning. Less discerning about when I eat it (What doesn't taste better with jam? When isn't the right time for a spoonful?), but more discerning, through sheer volume of comparison, about taste.
So I don't say lightly that We Love Jam makes really, truly awesome jam. Blenheim Apricot was the first flavor in their line and remains the all-star of the bunch. Blenheim apricots are an heirloom crop on Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste, meaning they've been endangered by modern urban sprawl and lack of interest by food distributors. I find this hard to believe only because they are so perfectly apricot-y: sweet with notes of honey, peaches, and the slightest hint of orange. The concord grape of stone fruit. (Farmers: get ye some pits!) The jam itself has great texture: the skins have been pureed so fine as to be visible but not interfere with the velvety smooth yet far from gelatinous texture. The flavor is that intense apricot and what sugar there is acts as a subtle fruit-booster.
Super Tart Cherry & Grapefruit and Blenheim Apricot & Bing Cherry are two other flavors worth seeking out, but given the not insubstantial price tag (since they are super small batch—there are only a few hundred jars made of some flavors—a 9 ounce jar will run you between $10 and $15 dollars) I'd go with either Blenheim Apricot or the Fukushu Kumquat Marmalade.
This marmalade starts with Fukushu kumquats, a varietal of kumquats originally from Japan and now grown by just one farm in California. If you've ever eaten a kumquat you can picture the labor required: cut open each tiny oval fruit and remove the seeds by hand. It's not a surprise that this is one of the flavors of which only 300 jars are made. It has the typical chunky, rind filled texture of a medium cut marmalade. The kumquats are tart like oranges, but with more floral notes and the rosy sweetness of a grapefruit. The fruity-sourness is perfect on a lightly sweet piece of pain de mie toast. Of course I also like it on a scone, in my oatmeal, or just as a zippy wake up bite from a spoon.
We Love Jam jams are available online or in select stores