fudo finds friday: american spoon preserves
There was a day when jams and jellies weren’t a second thought, something haphazardly spread on a biscuit or toast as we run out of the door in the morning. There was a day when jams and jellies were the only way Americans could get a serving of fruit in the dead of winter. At one time in our history almost every woman knew how to preserve summer’s bounty. Jams and jellies became the rock stars of preserving because they hold the sweet, sun kissed fruits of summer.
Today more and more people are looking to learn the art of food preservation known as canning. But, for those who would prefer to buy a homemade jam or jelly we are seeing a large variety available for purchase at farmer’s markets and online. No longer are we limited to a jar of strawberry or grape jelly. We can choose from pear, jalapeno, rhubarb, elderberry and thimbleberry to name a few. We found these fabulous flavors at American Spoon. You can look at the rich color of American Spoon’s offerings and know that they mean it when they write : “At American Spoon we go through elaborate, time consuming steps to do what big companies work just as hard to avoid, packing as much fruit and authentic flavor as possible into every jar.”
American Spoon offers preserves and marmalades, spoon fruit, fruit butter and brandied fruit. In their shop you will also find salsas, grilling sauces, relishes, condiments and vinaigrettes. The first kitchen of American Spoon “amounted to two gas fired copper kettles that we stirred with long wooden paddles, a three-compartment sink and a maple block table where we filled jars one at a time by hand, in the basement of a candy store…”
American Spoon began long before a basement kitchen was outfitted. Two men, driven to bring America’s bounty to our tables, one who gathered natures plenty while the other, a chef, who transformed it into “distinctly American cuisine” are the force behind American Spoon.
Their story reminds us that a quality product doesn’t just happen. It takes a partnership of minds that think alike, a desire to do things the best way possible and dedication. Justin Rashid and Chef Larry Forgione began such a partnership in 1979. Rashid and Forgione have also forged relationships with local, Michigan farmers to ensure the quality of the fruit. “For almost thirty years, American Spoon has worked to build direct and personal relationships with Michigan fruit growers.”
Today we are lucky to have their superior products available to us through their website. Their kitchen has grown, but their methods have remained steadfast. Having received accolades from the New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Dorie Greenspan and Eating Well, to name a few, American Spoon is no stranger to praise. Forgione is also a James Beard Award winner and Rashid is a NASFT Gold Award Winner.
When you stop by their shop be sure to keep in mind that the holidays are around the corner. Of course we all love gift cards, but who would ever re-gift summer in a jar? American Spoon sells their products individually or in gift assortment packs. Photo taken by Meagan @ American Spoon