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Seeking excellent, preferably local jam/preserves

k
kzukor Nov 28, 2012 10:03 AM

I like to buy food gifts made (relatively) locally. Can you recommend some California-made jam/preserves that are really great?

Thanks!

  1. s
    Spatlese Nov 28, 2012 10:10 AM

    I like Blue Chair's product when I'm in the mood for novel flavor combinations - one of their autumn offerings is orange-kumquat with candied ginger and dates - and they're Oakland-based. For straight fruit, I've liked INNA's product - thought their Seascape strawberry was great.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Spatlese
      b
      BAnders Nov 28, 2012 10:25 AM

      You can taste a number of Blue Chair's flavors at the Temescal farmers market on Sundays. I like their marmalades, particularly those of citrus mixed with other fruit. Strawberry Meyer Lemon, e.g., or there's an aprium-orange option that is delicious.

    2. d
      dordogne Nov 28, 2012 10:12 AM

      To my palate (essence of fruit, unusual varieties, e.g. yuzu, restrained sugar), June Taylor's are the finest:

      http://www.junetaylorjams.com/

      Other options are Frog Hollow and Blue Chair.

      3 Replies
      1. re: dordogne
        s
        Spatlese Nov 28, 2012 10:17 AM

        Ah, yes, how could I forget about the Bay Area preserves pioneer, June Taylor? Great stuff - and you can watch her segment on the CHOW Obsessives series to boot!
        http://www.chow.com/videos#!/show/obs...

        1. re: dordogne
          s
          sundeck sue Nov 28, 2012 10:33 AM

          Ditto re June Taylor as the best. Though it is dear (as in pricey).

          I'm actually not such a fan of Frog Hollow or Blue Chair. The fruit doesn't come through as intensely in either of them, compared to June Taylor. And while I'm always intrigued by the imagination of Blue Chair's combinations, the mixes sometimes taste a bit blurry/muddled.

          1. re: sundeck sue
            Ruth Lafler Nov 28, 2012 01:24 PM

            After making my own marmalade a couple of years in a row I understand better why it's so expensive. Even using free fruit I couldn't have sold the marmalade I made for what it cost to make it.

        2. CarrieWas218 Nov 28, 2012 10:40 AM

          For me, it is McQuade's Celtic Chutneys that always impress... I buy at Bi-Rite and include in holiday gifts as a local offering...

          1 Reply
          1. re: CarrieWas218
            r
            rubadubgdub Nov 28, 2012 10:57 AM

            Speaking as one who has been given about 20 jars of jam and doesn't make toast, I second getting a chutney instead. I love the Apple Farm chutneys. Also, Swanton Berry Farm's low sugar strawberry jam is excellent bc it can be used as a sauce. Tierra Vegetables's chile jams are great for sweet/savory combos. All avail at the Sat Ferry Plaza FM.

          2. Robert Lauriston Nov 28, 2012 01:15 PM

            LouLou's Garden makes some great stuff.

            http://www.loulousgarden.com/-strse-template/locator/Page.bok

            The Apple Farm's stuff is spectacular. They're at the Ferry Plaza market on Saturdays (or is it every other Saturday?)

            http://www.philoapplefarm.com/jamjell...

            1. Melanie Wong Nov 28, 2012 01:46 PM

              Made by past and present members of the chowhound community:
              Kensington Marmalade
              http://www.kensingtonmarmalade.com/

              Chez Pim delicious confitures
              http://shop.chezpim.com/

              McQuade's Celtic Chutneys
              http://www.mcquadechutneys.com/

              Then, also Inna Jam, here's a rec for the jalapeno jam.
              http://innajam.com/
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8516...

              1 Reply
              1. re: Melanie Wong
                s
                soyarra Aug 29, 2013 01:06 PM

                Chez Pim's stuff is wildly overrated and expensive.

                The best jams in the Bay Area are made by June Taylor in Berkeley. Expensive, yes, but her ingredients are totally local and organic, her technique is grounded in years of experience and research, and her palate is impeccable. Her marmalades alone are an experience not to be missed. I dream about her Seville orange marmalade, which is dark and tart and bitter and sweet - unlike anything else in the world.

                junetaylorjams.com

              2. majordanby Nov 28, 2012 02:43 PM

                i like fandango jams and preserves. they sell at the berkeley sat. farmers market only in the last 4-5 weeks of the year (last weekend was their first). Many of their jams are fairly unique (Raspberry Shirazz). Here's a list of their jams I collected last year.

                Blueberry Merlot
                Peach Chardonnay
                Rhubarb
                Rhubarb Chutney
                Peach Chutney
                Strawberry Rhubarb
                Blackberry Zinfandel
                Indian Blood Peach
                Red Skin Peach
                Blackberry Plum Lime
                Strawberry

                I also like frog hollow jams - sold at various farmers markets

                1 Reply
                1. re: majordanby
                  escargot3 Nov 30, 2012 01:12 PM

                  Every year at this time I pick up a mixed case from the Fandango people to give to friends. Most of the fruit is picked from their orchard in Sonoma County. And I'm especially in love with the Indian Blood Peach and the Raspberry Shiraz.

                  They can be found at various farmer's markets and also the KPFA Crafts Fair.

                2. majordanby Nov 28, 2012 02:43 PM

                  dont want to hijack this thread, but didnt want to start a new one -

                  does anyone make pomegranate jam/preserves? My dad is a huge pomegranate fan and i would love to get him a jar of it preserved.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: majordanby
                    w
                    wally Nov 28, 2012 02:50 PM

                    Apple Farm makes a pomegranate jelly.

                    1. re: wally
                      Robert Lauriston Nov 28, 2012 02:59 PM

                      And it's great.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        w
                        wally Nov 28, 2012 03:09 PM

                        Oh, yes. I buy that and their apricot every year even though I don't eat many sweets.

                        1. re: wally
                          w
                          wally Nov 28, 2012 10:01 PM

                          The apricot has apricot kernels in it.

                          1. re: wally
                            majordanby Nov 29, 2012 05:19 PM

                            great. besides the ferry plaza FM, where else can I buy it?

                            1. re: majordanby
                              Robert Lauriston Nov 29, 2012 05:48 PM

                              I think that's the only place besides at the farm in Philo.

                    2. re: majordanby
                      majordanby Sep 1, 2013 09:51 AM

                      just to follow up - bought pomegranate jelly from apple farm and my dad enjoyed it. I also bought pomegranate jam from allard farms, which sells at the jack london square market on sundays. Quite good and worth a try if you're not willing to go to SF. thanks again for the suggestion.

                    3. hhc Nov 28, 2012 08:53 PM

                      Another good jam from South Bay guys:
                      WeLoveJam makes a good Blenheim Apricot Jam. Many locations around the Bay Area & online.
                      Website:
                      http://www.welovejam.com/index.htm

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: hhc
                        n
                        Nancy Berry Nov 30, 2012 10:01 AM

                        WeLoveJam is great! They make a really good fukushu kumquat marmalade that I sometimes crave and their Blenheim apricot jam is delicious -- also some unusual and good cherry apricot and cherry grapefruit jams.

                        These guys also make bbq sauce, ice cream toppings, pickles and pickled peppers.

                      2. s
                        sweethooch Sep 1, 2013 09:58 AM

                        Apricot pepper jam from the Apricot King. They come to several south bay farmer's markets. The schedule is here http://apricotking.com/farmersmarkets....

                        Great with cheese as an appetizer (brie, goat cheese, cream cheese, manchego).

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