Specialty Food Magazine

APR 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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FOODS IN FOCUS flavor boosts, new spreads are hitting the market inspired by an array of classic treats. From Creamsicle and candied apple to banana nut bread and chocolate, creativity seems boundless. Artisanal jam and jelly maker Karen Allen of Old Barn Hollow, Chenango Bridge, N.Y., is creating varieties reminis- cent of childhood favorites. One such jam is made with organic vanilla beans and fresh- squeezed orange juice to mimic the taste of an old-fashioned Creamsicle. Old Barn Hollow also offers Bubble Gum, Root Beer and Candy Apple flavors, all made without high-fructose corn syrup. "It took a while for customers to get on board with some of the more uncommon flavors," Allen says. "Now, I have what I call ' jam junkies'—those who seek out the unusual." Root Beer Jelly is the biggest seller, Allen adds. Customers' uses for it range from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to a glaze for ham. Nostalgia for retro soda-fountain fla- vors is evident in Bonnie's Jams, Cambridge, Mass., including the Raspberry Lime Ricky, a combination of tangy lime and sweet raspberries. Owner Bonnie Shershow rec- ommends adding a spoonful to a mojito or martini for a burst of fruity flavor. Homestyle dessert flavors are also trend leaders in the jam and preserves cat- egory. Peach Cobbler made with cinnamon, allspice and cloves from Jackie's Jam, San Diego, Calif., and Organic Apple Pie Jam from Colorado Mountain Jam, Palisades, Colo., are two such entries. Sutter Buttes Olive Oil Co., Sutter, Calif., offers jams and spreads in such flavors as Banana Nut Bread, Raspberry Blackberry Cobbler and Dutch Apple Pie. "Our jams offer a familiar flavor with a little bit of a twist and some nostalgia," explains owner Alka Kumar. For instance, the Peach Pie Jam has a touch of bourbon to give it a grown-up kick. Chocolate is another ingredient that can add dimension to jams and spreads. Elizabeth Madden, owner and founder of Rare Bird Preserves, Oak Park, Ill., uses chocolate to comple- ment her raspberry and blueberry preserves. "My chocolate preserves are kind of like a fruit Nutella, without being too funky," Madden says. Madden takes leaps with her creations but always makes sure the fruit is the star. She notes that it is important to get customers' attention with familiar ingredients because it encourages them to try a product when the other flavors might seem misplaced. Tea Makes a Splash Suppliers are getting creative with tea to add a depth of flavor to favorite fruits. At Larry's Market in Brown Deer, Wis., owner Steve Ehlers has seen growing customer inter- est in products such as Fig and Black Tea Preserves from Quince & Apple, Madison, Wis. "We promote Quince & Apple pre- serves with our cheeses," he says. "It really stands out in that section." Rare Bird also offers a tea-and-fig pre- serve, Fig Earl Grey, which contains large chunks of the fruit. "The Earl Grey has strong bergamot flavors that complement the fig well but do not overpower," Madden says. "The tea brings out the smokiness of the figs and makes it a perfect complement for cured meats and blue cheese." Bittersweet Herb Farm, Shelburn, Mass., infuses the exotic spices of chai into its marmalade. Wallace explains that the combination of these two contrasting flavor profiles may not be as far-fetched as they initially sound. With cinnamon the pre- dominant flavor, chai spices are similar to mulling spices or pumpkin pie ingredients. Combining those taste notes with the tangy citrus of the marmalade's oranges is a natu- ral fit, he notes. "Black tea is the traditional 28 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE ❘ specialtyfood.com Migliore Gourmet Foods' Jalapeño Fig Jam makes a spicy-sweet dipping sauce for chicken wings. base for chai," he says. "It adds a subtle base note that contributes to the overall richness and depth of the marmalade." The marma- lade has traditional uses—like spreading on toast—but also can be warmed and drizzled on ice cream. Adding Heat to the Sweet Sweet heat has been a burgeoning flavor trend across many categories of specialty foods, including jams. Migliore Gourmet Foods' Jalapeño Fig Jam is all-natural and touted for its versatil- ity. The Riverside, Calif., company recom- mends serving it atop cornbread or as a spicy-sweet dipping sauce for chicken wings. Terrapin Ridge Farms, Clearwater, Fla., pairs exotic fruits and peppers in such prod- ucts as Passion Fruit Jalapeño Jelly, which it suggests as a glaze for pound cake or as a topping to invigorate a ham sandwich. Pepper choices are getting bolder. Grace & I, a Los Angeles company special- izing in artisanal, seasonal preserves, uses ghost pepper to spice up its Peach Preserves. The spiciness of the pepper balances out the sweetness of summer peaches, making this preserve a good fit for savory bites such as cured meats. Sallie's Greatest Jams uses four pep- (continued on p. 59)

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