May 27, 2014

Rochelois Jam Tasting at Thousand Pound Egg

On Saturday, after spending far too much money at the Indie Craft Bazaar (A LOT here, here, here and here), I made my way to Thousand Pound Egg with some friends for Rochelois' Jam Tasting. I'd sampled a few of their jams on my previous visit and everything I'd tasted was delicious. I was excited to try some more of their combinations and meet the ladies behind the labels.

When we arrived the tasting jams were already on display and Valerie (who I later met) had her tablet out showing off the various fruit trees she climbs. She explained that some trees can be fiestier than others and that you should ALWAYS have an exit strategy.  Everyone had fists of used sampling spoons and in hindsight I should have asked what their favorite flavors were. We patiently waited for the two ladies before us to leave and then dove right in to our round of tasting.

I stayed on the sweeter end sampling the Calamondin, Star-Passion (a Starfruit and Passion fruit combination) and Tropical Cherry while my friends were a bit bolder tasting the Peppy Jalapeno and Habanero Guava. We also tried what I like to call the "tea line" as I think they'd pair perfectly as sugar replacements in tea, the La Vie En Rose and the Lemongrass Ginger. Another woman followed behind us and seemed to really enjoy both the Tasty and Fiery Tamarind.

The best way to describe their jams is deliciously dense and saturated. Each little jar is packed tightly with their fruit filled concoctions. Since nothing goes to waste, you'll even find rinds in some of the final product, a good sign in my opinion. Both the colors and tastes are exceptionally vibrant... something that obviously stems from using quality, local, organic ingredients and having respect for the source.

My favorite of the day was the Calamondin, a funny little sour citrus fruit I'd never heard of prior to then but have since become a fan of. I thought I was quite the forward thinker with my tea suggestion but apparently Rochelois has created a variety of applications for their jams that also includes meat glazes and vinaigrettes. I've already had a spoonful on my greek yogurt and plan on glazing some fish at some point in the near future.

My visit on Saturday confirmed what I already suspected, that the ladies jarring up these combinations have a respect and love for our local, tropic fruits and that things are only going to continue to grow for Rochelois Jams. Best of luck!
This is the lovely mother/daughter team of Cuckita and Valerie Bellande. Both women were exceptionally kind and fiercely proud about the jams they're creating. Valerie was such a pleasure to chat with and seems to truly enjoy every aspect of what she does. As for her mother, I could spend an entire afternoon listening to Cuckita talk about her culinary creative process and how she turns her dreams into recipes. Something tells me a visit to their farm in Homestead may soon be in order.


Unknown said...

Thanks a million for supporting us :) We are so glad to have met you...Your pictures are truly unique and capture the spirit of what you are photographing. You have such talent and joy!

Kelly Coulson Photography said...

Thank you so very much for your kind words, Valerie. It was a pleasure to meet you and I'm excited to see how Rochelois Jams will continue to grow.