Best Seasonal Jams and Preserves - 2011
Blue Chair Fruit
Artisanal jams and marmalades are nearly a dime a dozen these days — except for the dime part. Prices can be steep, but when you're paying for the expertise and creativity of a true master, it's worth it. Blue Chair Fruit's Rachel Saunders spent a decade perfecting every step of jam- and marmalade-making, including using French copper jam kettles and working in small batches to optimize flavor. Made with local, sustainable fruits at their seasonal peak, these products range from the familiar (Seville-navel orange marmalade, olallieberry jam) to the esoteric (quince-cranberry marmalade with rose geranium, spiced bourbon-tomato conserve) and are available at numerous stores and farmers' markets around the Bay Area for about $12 a jar. A visit to the facilities is a worthwhile field trip (call ahead to schedule), not least if you're attending one of Saunders' classes on jam-making. And The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, which came out in 2010, inspires and delights, even if you just cruise the pictures.