Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.
– Charles Mingus
INNA founder Dafna Kory doesn’t know this, but she and her work helped inspire the genesis of Big Spoon Roasters back in 2010. I first encountered a jar of INNA jalapeño pepper jelly that year during a party at a friend’s place in San Francisco. The fresh-spicy-sweet jam was impossibly good with everything, from cheese and crackers to tacos and cocktails. Pepper jelly has of course been around in the South forever, and I was already a fan, but INNA’s version had not only a more balanced heat-to-sweet ratio (typical Southern versions are usually too sweet for me), but also the distinct flavor of fresh, green jalapeños. In short, its flavors popped, and it tasted refreshingly homemade. As a packaging nerd, I was also taken by INNA’s beautiful, minimally adorned glass jars, which let the natural color and textures of the jam speak for themselves without the customary onslaught of marketing claims found on most packaged foods.
That fall, Dafna was featured with a number of other small-batch food artisans for an article in The New York Times Magazine about the Bay Area’s burgeoning craft food movement. The article must have planted an entrepreneurial seed in my sub-consciousness, because less than a week after it was published, I had the epiphany that would lead to the first batch of Big Spoon Roasters nut butter. Thanks to the community around the annual Good Food Awards (INNA has won a bunch), I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Dafna in person several times, and she has become not only an inspiration but also a friend.
We are so excited to feature INNA’s Dapple Dandy Pluot Jam as our December Featured Jam! The Dapple Dandy variety pluots (sometimes called “dinosaur eggs”) are some of the first pluot hybrids and feature a distinct, signature tartness which has unfortunately been bred out of newer varieties. This slow-cooked jam features that bright tartness front and center, along with luscious sweetness and classic, cherry-like pluot flavors. A pluot, by the way, is a natural cross between plums and apricots.
INNA makes fresh, seasonal jams from organic fruit sourced within 150 miles of their Emeryville, CA, kitchen. By sourcing produce directly from local farmers, they are able to get the best possible fruit picked ripe at the peak of flavor. Their single-varietal jams are crafted so that each fruit’s unique essence and natural subtleties shine through in bright flavors. They also avoid adding herbs, spices, or other flavorings. In Dafna’s words, an INNA jam “tastes like the freshly picked fruit from which it was made, each jar a time capsule of flavor.” We could not agree more.