The people who give you their food, give you their heart. – Cesar Chavez
It is often discussed amongst food professionals (chefs, cookbook authors, food writers, etc.) and food lovers that finding the best ingredients, honoring them with simple preparation, and letting them shine is the best way to create amazing food. You’ll find no argument here. But what takes food over the edge from really good to superb is the element of soul; love for ingredients and the land they come from, and love for people for whom it’s being made. While our February Featured Jam, Fiddlehead Farm Roasted Strawberry Preserves, certainly fits the bill for the former, what makes it so special is an abundance of the latter.
Founders David and Emily Boynton are intimately involved in every step of the creation of these special preserves. From their small five-acre farm and certified kitchen in Pittsboro, NC, they grow vegetables and herbs and make tiny batches (8-10 jars!!) of their products including hot sauces, finishing salts, jams, jellies, and preserves. These goodies are sold at farmers markets and a handful of local retailers. When they need produce that they don’t themselves grow, they reach out to fellow Piedmont farmers. Much of the produce used is organic and all is grown without pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.
As farmers themselves, the Boyntons have a special respect for the hard work and care that goes into each of their ingredients. To honor the farm and unique character its produce imparts into each batch, labels are always updated to reflect the current supplier. This particular batch of Roasted Strawberry Preserves was made with strawberries from Lewis Nursery and Farms in Rocky Point, NC. The epiphany to roast the strawberries came after years of doing the same to their tomatoes and peaches in order to prep them for preservation. They found this technique brought out the natural flavor and made the jam quicker to reach its desired consistency, and suspected it might just do the same for strawberries. Pure genius. The robust, vibrant strawberry flavor, highlighted with just a bit of organic sugar and lemon juice, is almost magical, and completely addictive. (So much so that they were just awarded a highly coveted Good Food Award!). Each bite brims with the love the Boynton’s have for food, from farm to jar to plate. This is no accident, as Emily explains, “making our products in small batches, using the best possible local/organic ingredients, is the most important thing we can do, and it brings us great joy. There is a lot of hard work and love in each jar!”
We feel extraordinarily lucky to have gotten our hands on a handful of jars to share as our 2018 February Featured Jam. It is available via our web shop a la carte or in recommended PB&J and AB&J pairings while supplies last!