“Local fruits, global pursuits.” That’s the unofficial motto of our November 2018 Featured Jam maker Jamnation. Their goal is simple: to make “damn good jam” using the best local produce while supporting sustainable practices at home and abroad.
With these standards in mind, Jamnation founder Jillian Reynolds meticulously sources fruit from organic farms within a 200-mile radius of San Francisco, CA. For example, when it came time to find peaches for their “To Peach His Own” jam, she tasted 15 varieties before landing on the organic June Lady peaches from the San Joaquin Valley.
This dedication to quality and sustainability extends to their global ingredients as well. All spices, herbs, and sugar sourced from abroad are Fair Trade Certified. As an economics major at Stanford, Jillian developed a deep concern for how the global economy affected emerging markets. “When you pay for fair trade, it means that you know the money goes to support education, infrastructure or health for those people,” Jillian explains. “I always wanted to do something where I could tangibly help someone.” When it came time to start her business, she knew this dedication to fair trade would be a guiding principle for how they sourced every ingredient.
Jillian and her team seek to honor these exceptional ingredients with carefully developed recipes and classic French techniques. Jillian’s brother, Christopher Reynolds, sous chef at Morimoto in NYC, also brings his expertise to help perfect the recipes. They use, on average, 50% more fruit and 50% less sugar than your typical commercial jam and thicken each batch with longer cook times rather than pectin, resulting in concentrated fruit flavor. Select florals, herbs, and spices are added to complement each fruit and elevate the taste.
This month’s Featured Jam, Razzle Bazzle is a prime example of this impeccable balance of fruit and herbaceousness. Grown on a sustainable family farm near Watsonville, CA, the jam’s Josephine raspberries are more tart than most, resulting in an especially intense berry flavor that blends perfectly with the brightness of fresh Holy basil, sourced from a grower in the Capay Valley. Just the right amount of organic unrefined cane sugar and organic lemon juice are added to balance the flavor, resulting in a jam you may find yourself eating with a spoon.