Blue Ridge Jams is an artisanal jam company based in Henderson, a small town in North Carolina. They are known for using appealing combinations of flavors to produce beautiful jams. We are impressed by the gorgeous colors of the two jams we tasted.
We like the company’s aesthetic. All of the jams are hand made in very small batches, to ensure that the quality remains consistent. Their jams and jellies have a very delicate texture — these are not heavy, sugary jams. Their flavor profiles, as well, are very well balanced and not too assertive.
Sight: Held up to the light, has a translucent amber hue.
Smell: Opening the bottle, the initial scent is of strawberry, with a subtle tang of pepper.
Feel: This is a soft jelly, very spreadable.
Taste: The jelly is sweet, reminding you of a summery jam, but with a nice, warm aftertaste.
We think that they struck exactly the right balance with the jalapeño. This jam is a very exciting and versatile ingredient. The mixture of the sweet and savory would complement a range of foods (besides, of course, your toast). We immediately imagined it as a base for a dipping sauce that could be used in Asian or fusion starters, maybe alongside crispy wantons.
Sight: This is still translucent, but with various shades of red.
Smell: Rich berry scent. You can actually smell the combination of raspberry and strawberry, in equal proportions.
Taste: We enjoy that the base of this jam contains a balanced flavor of the strawberry and raspberry, while each mouthful is slightly different, based on the type of fruit in that bite; there are bits of strawberry, raspberry, and cherry.
This is a very successful red fruit jam, which for its ingredients manages to provide several complimentary flavors. With the blended flavor of the combined fruit, you also get the distinct flavors of the individual fruit. For people who make their own ice cream, it would be great to add a spoonful of this a minute or two before taking it out of the mixer, giving your custard attractive stripes of color in addition to taste and textural contrasts. A little bit of this spread on top of some puff pastry, with some crème fraîche, could make a delicious, delicate tart.