Making jam has always been an important pastime in Bonnie’s life, but it became her artisan commercial business about 16 years ago in Cambridge, MA where she still makes her jams on Sundays at Formaggio Kitchen, a shop which was also her first retailer.
She uses seasonal, and when possible, local fruit to make her jams. To bring the full flavor and integrity of the fruit into the jar, Bonnie chooses to limit her use of sugar and not to add extra pectin, relying solely on the natural pectin present within the fruit. This is a tricky thing to do in making preserves on a commercial level; Bonnie has surely had to learn over the years how to best combine fruits with low and high pectin levels, as well as use the correct minimum sugar and lemon juice quantities in order to get the right set on the finished jam.
The looser texture and pure fruit flavors of her jams make them great candidates for use in many food preparations (glazes, dressings, pastry fillings) as well as ingredients for bar mixologists’ creations.
Bonnie makes 10 different jam varieties, and we consistently carry two of those:
Black & Blue – Made from 1/2 pound blackberries and blueberries per jar, this deep, dark loveliness craves to be near the snow white Leonora, a favorite rich, tangy Spanish goat cheese providing a beautiful milky contrast.
Peach Ginger – It’s no wonder this has been a fave of Oprah…Sweet ripe peaches are a natural match with the flavor and light spiciness of ginger. Bonnie combines this with olive oil, balsamic and port to make a glaze for duck. I am inclined to pair this with a firm sheep’s milk cheese like Ossau Iraty from the Basque…just makes sense.
By Susan Gaulke, Wally’s Cheesemonger