Eat Real Fest Recap

WOW, we had such a blast at the Eat Real Festival this year! We teamed up with some favorite local artisans and put our jam in some pretty yummy situations. Curious about the appearances our jams made? We’re glad you asked!

1. Our lovely jam stand where we were sampling all of our ERF flavors! We met some great new friends and had a blast talking jam all day.

2. Saturday’s Craft Collaboration with Starter Bakery. Yep, that’s our Blood Orange-Hibiscus Marmalade and Meyer Lemon-Blood Orange Marmalade with Rose Geranium in two different Kouign Aman.

3. Sunday’s Craft Collaboration with Mike the Bejkr. Three different breads, three different jams. Kamut bread with Early Girl Tomato Jam. Farro Bread with Peacotum Jam. Pain Biologique with Strawberry-Pluot Jam. To say Mike’s bread is our favorite is an understatement!

Other fun things we did: Rachel gave a stone fruit talk with Fran of Blossom Bluff and Michele Polzine, and served our Damson Jam spooned over peach ice cream. And our marmalade was incorporated into a yummy cocktail!

Can’t wait until next year!

Eat Real Fest 2011

Our favorite time of the year is here – Eat Real Fest! We are SO excited to spend the weekend demoing, offering craft collaborations with some of our favorite artisan food makers, selling jam, and eating.

We’ll be represented at Eat Real Fest on Friday night through a jam cocktail – our Bergamot Marmalade to be more specific! Be sure to check out the Jam Bar at 4pm to try for yourself.

On Saturday, the Blue Chair Fruit team will be sampling and selling our jams all day. For a limited time starting at 11am, our craft collaboration with Starter Bakery will be available: jam and croissants! These are sure to go quickly, so show up early! And at 2pm, Rachel will be demoing cooking with jam, pairing with Blossom Bluff (who gives us our favorite stone fruit) and pastry chef Michele Polzine.

Sunday holds more goodies, and we’re so excited to pair up with our favorite bread maker, Mike the Bejkr. We LOVE his bread and can’t wait to pair it with our jam. This offering starts at 1:30pm, and you won’t want to miss it! Of course, we’ll be offering our favorite jams for sale on Sunday as well.

We’ll even be debuting a special new jam this weekend made from the mystery fruit posted below. We’re crazy for its summery flavor. Curious about what it is? You’ll have to come by Eat Real Fest to find out!

The Best of California

California is made for fruit lovers — a long growing season, moderate temperatures through winter, and a brigade of farmers and gardeners committed to nurturing heirloom fruit varieties.

Here at Blue Chair Fruit, our greatest joy is celebrating California produce by taking fruit at the peak of its season and preserving it to enjoy throughout the year. And we want to share our favorite California flavors with you!

Our California Preserves 3-Pack contains one jar each of:

  • Olallieberry Jam, made from our favorite regional blackberries
  • Meyer Lemon-Blood Orange Marmalade, highlighting the unique flavor of Meyer lemons
  • Yvette’s Plum Jam, our love song to our friend Yvette’s perfect backyard plums

We hope you love these special California fruits as much as we do!

Montana or Bust!

Rachel’s teaching two jam classes in Montana!

Featured Foodie: Rachel!

Click the image for the full article, including our Olallieberry Jam recipe!

Jam and Toast: A Perfect Match

In case you haven’t gathered, we’re big fans of jam and toast here at Blue Chair Fruit.

To fuel your obsession, we’re offering a special Morning Toast 2-Pack containing a jar each of our two favorite flavors. This limited-edition set will be available until a new “favorite flavor” comes along (translation: about a month).

Curious about our favorite ways to enjoy our morning toast? Here’s what the BCF team has to say:

Jamie: Apple-Meyer Lemon Marmalade with butter on Acme’s Pain de Mie. With coffee. Perfect when friends are in town!”

Luz: Bergamot Marmalade on toasted raisin bread with a lot of butter, and sips of saffron & honey tea just for decadence’s sake.”

Rachel: “Levain with almond-hazelnut butter and Rhubarb Jam with Plums & Ginger. Plus Kusmi Tea’s Troika.”

Jo: Olallieberry Jam and foie gras mousse from Fabrique Delices on orange zest scented brioche — with spicy black pepper chai with a smidge of Katz (black button sage) honey and splash of Strauss milk.” What Jo only mentioned later is that she pipes on the foie gras, because her brioche is SO delicate. Baroque, indeed!

Kate: Olallieberry Jam. On the tiny toasts you see above, because then my jam-to-toast ratio is about 1:1. And I MUST have my morning cup of Kusmi’s Bourbon Vanilla Tea.”

Do we know how to enjoy our breakfast or WHAT?
What’s your favorite jam-and-toast indulgence?


Punk Domestics & BCF Food Preservation Swap!

Hey, Bay Area jammers! Join Punk Domestics and Blue Chair Fruit for a Bay Area food swap, plus the chance to show off what you’ve got and meet other local preservation geeks. Hey, Bay Area jammers!

On Friday July 15, we’ll be gathering at the Blue Chair Fruit kitchens to sample each other’s wares and chat preservation with local amateurs and professionals alike. Best of all, the event will culminate in a DIY food exchange, but with a catch: It’s a free-market exchange. Want that bottle of limoncello? It might cost you three jars of blueberry jam. Or vice versa. You negotiate the value between each other. It all comes down to what the market bears.

Come on down — the party starts at 6pm. You’ll want to arrive right on time so you get a chance to try everything. All manner of preserved food is welcome: jams and jellies, liqueurs, charcuterie, homemade cheese, pickles, or anything else you’ve spent time preserving!

Please bring as much of your favorite preserved item(s) as you want to trade (including serving utensils), plus enough to share with other guests. Gotta get ’em hooked with a free sample first, of course.

*The BCF kitchen’s entrance is on 47th St. and there should be ample street parking. Alternately, we’re a short walk from MacArthur BART!*

RSVP Already!

P.S. Unsure what to make between now and then? Check out Punk Domestics for all kinds of inspiration: they’ve got everything from pickle recipes to tips on making cheese at home!

Summer Berry Jams!

The past few weeks in Oakland have been quite warm — but we knew it was summer a month ago. How? The arrival of summer berries, of course!

Strawberries are first to appear on the scene as the weather warms up. Their distinctly bright, sweet flavor lends itself perfectly to jam; we’ve mixed it up this year by adding blackberries for tartness and rose geranium to emphasize the floral side of strawberry. A truly delightful early summer berry jam, Strawberry-Blackberry Jam with Rose Geranium is full of strawberry flavor with the slightest edge.

If strawberry is the social butterfly of summer berries, raspberry is its feisty cousin. Raspberries are closely related to blackberries, and make some of our most popular jams, favored for their tart flavor and striking fuchsia color. We’ve accented the zingy taste of raspberry in our Rhubarb & Red Raspberry Jam; check back later this summer for our Black Raspberry Jam.

Combine a black raspberry with a loganberry (itself a blackberry-red raspberry hybrid) and you’ll get a tayberry. We love tayberries for their sophisticated vibrant flavor; marrying the tartness of summer berries with the deep sweetness of blackberry, tayberry jam is a fleeting joy of early Summer. The most regal berry jam out there, Tayberry Jam sells out quickly no matter how much we make!

A truly unique California blackberry, olallieberries are the most precious berries of summer! Olallieberries are a genetic mish-mash of blackberries and raspberries, and are an elegant berries with a deep purple color. Olallieberry Jam is hard to beat for its assertive sweet and tart flavor like nothing else we’ve tasted. For blackberry jam lovers, Olallieberry Jam provides an authentic taste of California.

Fans of tart berry jam will swoon over what we’ve done with boysenberries. Another berry mutt (a combination of raspberry, blackberry, and loganberry), boysenberry has a strong tart flavor which, while distinctive, can be overpowering. We let it sing in our Boysenberry-Strawberry Jam while softening it slightly with the sweet taste of strawberry. Full of sass, this jam is one of our favorites!

We hope you’ll try each of our berry jams, and keep an eye out for new berry flavors as summer progresses! If the weather behaves, we’ll be making Black Raspberry Jam later this summer, as well as Nightfall Blackberry Jam. YUM.


A Bourbon’d Father’s Day

Here’s what your dad wants for Father’s Day: Jam. And marmalade. And bourbon.

Our Father’s Day Bourbon Two-Pack is just the ticket! This power combo of our Spiced Bourbon-Tomato Conserve and Bourbon’d Lemon Marmalade offers the manliest preserves we have. Talk about a killer breakfast!

Why give your dad a tie or power tools when you can give the gift of tasty food? Our Spiced-Bourbon Tomato Conserve is the secret ingredient for an awesome grilled cheese or BLT, and Bourbon’d Lemon Marmalade is like a whiskey sour, but better because it spreads on toast!

We can guarantee Father’s Day delivery if we receive your order by 3PM PST this Wednesday, June 13, when you select USPS Priority shipping!

Is your dad a true jam fiend? He might like: A 6-Month Jam Club membership, our Marmalade Lover’s Gift Pack, or a Mauviel copper jam pan to make his own preserves!

The BCF Kitchen: Peach Season

Our first peach jam of the year has arrived: Bourbon’d Peach-Apple Jam.

Peaches have made their first appearance at our kitchens, heralding the return of summer. To say we are happy is an understatement; as we welcome these fruits back to our office and kitchen, they infuse the air with their sweet fragrance, a gentle reminder that summer has arrived.

While living with the smell of peaches is easy, working with them can prove difficult. The peaches must be blanched and skinned, a process that takes an entire cooking shift most days. And the work doesn’t stop there; if the peaches are clingstone, removing their pit is no easy task, and the flesh of each skinned peach must be carefully cut from its stone.

Our first spoonful of peach jam makes the long hours of work fade from memory. Each variety of peach offers its own flavor profile, but they are all a beacon of sunny days to come: gently sweet and  bright, and full of nostalgic memories from last year’s June. Rows and rows of peaches in our kitchen, each resembling a tiny sun, will be made into jam that can be savored long after the balmy summer months have passed.

The first peach jam of the year is no different. Our Bourbon’d Peach-Apple Jam flirts with the best of summer flavors: the subtle sweetness of peaches and apples receive a generous splash of bourbon to highlight their warmth. This rosy jam has been delighting us each morning, filling us with warmth whether or not the Northern California sun decides to show its face. We think you’ll fall in love with this jam as much as we have!