This is tiny glimpse of what goes into sourcing and prepping the fruit for our premium jams, jellies, and preserves. Here we have used our most popular preserve "Billionaire" to illustrate our common practices.
During each fruits' growing season, we are always searching the countryside of Ohio looking for small farms with the goals and growing practices that align with our beliefs in sustainable farming. Many of the farms we source from also use organic growing practices. This point is very important to us as we feel it is very important to keep the inputs in our food system to a minimum. This is not only for the health of the land but more importantly the health of those who enjoy our offerings. Our dedication to this part of the process not only assures that we are able to provide a superior product to our customers but also helps to support a sustainable local food system.
The secret to the intense flavor in our offerings is in the quality and condition of the ingredients we source. We are dedicated to sourcing the best Ohio has to offer. When choosing our fruit, we use all our senses, not just taste, but how appealing the fruit looks, how it feels in the hand, and the aroma.
After we source our fruit at the peak of ripeness, we bring it home and give it a gentle cleaning with water and organic apple cider vinegar and then an additional water-only bath in order to separate any remaining material from the farm. At this point we prep all the fruit and quickly deep freeze it in order to preserve the freshness and have a supply of fresh fruit throughout the year.
The creation of a preserve follows a recipe or a script that we have developed over time. No batch from year to year is ever the same. With variations in seasonal growing conditions some years our fruit is sweeter than others and we need to make minor adjustments to the recipe in order to present the flavors in all their glory. Here is where the science meets the art. And like any good chef, we taste, taste, taste!
With our jellies aside, we use no pectin in our products and this requires a lot of attention during the making of the preserve or jam. In order to have the preserve thicken up properly we must stir, often for hours on end and by hand, in order to get as much excess water out of the preserve. In the making of "Billionaire" we often spend up to 4 hours stirring the preserve. While we are reducing the water in the preserve we are also slowly reducing several bottles of wine. By reducing the wine at a slow rate we keep many of the nuances the wine has to offer the preserve and further reduce the final water content of the preserve.
We finish all of our products by hand ladling into every single jar the final product. We give our lids a brief dip in boiling water and screw each on by hand as well. We then give each jar a final bath in boiling water to seal the jars and assure that the product will remain safe until you are able to enjoy it.
We hope you can look at these steps and take home an example from them. Every dollar you spend is a vote you have. Every time you buy local food you vote for your health, the health of the land, and the health of your community. Local DOES taste better!